Norman, Okla. Working together, Bill Snyder and Bob Stoops were able to celebrate victory at Kansas State for the first time in years.
The 20-17 win against North Texas on Sept. 30, 1989, ended a winless streak of 30 games for the Wildcats and was the first triumph for Snyder at Kansas State. Stoops, then 29, was the defensive backs coach for the Wildcats. He'd go on to become the defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Florida before landing at Oklahoma and taking the Sooners to the 2000 national championship.
But he still remembers that first win at Kansas State as one of his favorites.
"We rang a victory bell that was outside the locker room that hadn't been rung in I don't know how long," said Stoops, now in his seventh year at Oklahoma. "I don't think they ring it now. That was the only time it's ever been.
"You never saw a group of people that needed a win so bad."
Sixteen years and one day later, Stoops and Snyder will meet on opposite sidelines when the Wildcats (3-0) play at Oklahoma (1-2) today.
The two coaches won 46 games together and lifted the Wildcats to the top 10, but Stoops still remembers the situation when he arrived - less than a week after Snyder was hired.
"It was absolutely, unbelievably bad," Stoops said. "I think at the time - and this is no lie - when you were allowed to have 95 scholarship players, I believe we had 50 to 55 in spring."
Stoops recalls having only four defensive linemen in that first spring, and only two were on scholarship.
"When we would practice team against each other ... we would have to stop, give them water, hose them down while the other guys stood around to let them regroup and start again because they had no one to rotate with," Stoops said. "That was unbelievable. You have no idea."
Two years later, Brent Venables joined the Wildcats. He played two seasons at Kansas State before joining Snyder's staff as an assistant.
"You always believed in the coaches and the system. They were very confident in their methods and never bending in their demands," said Venables, Stoops' defensive coordinator at Oklahoma since 1999. "Because of their consistency in the things that they asked you to do and the positions that they put you in, you always believed that at some point in time, you would have success."