Oklahoma assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright took advantage of an off week to do some recruiting in Texas after the Sooners’ 63-14 thrashing of the Longhorns during the 2000 season.
Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin, who Wright had recruited out of the Houston area, scored six touchdowns in the game.
Wright got a call from a friend who had been listening to a radio talk show in Austin.
“He told me,” Wright recalled, “one of the radio guys said just out of the blue, ‘Hey, this just in from the Cotton Bowl. Monday morning news flash…Quentin Griffin has scored again.’”
Wright has a number of memories from one of college football’s biggest rivalries, which will continue Saturday when Texas and Oklahoma meet at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
VISD. athletic director Bobby Jack Wright coached on both sides of the Red River rivalry game. pic.twitter.com/aFFCv1vOtu— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) October 9, 2019
The current athletic director for the Victoria school district participated in the Red River Rivalry as an assistant at Texas under Fred Akers, David McWilliams and John Mackovic from 1986 to 1987, and as an assistant at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops from 1999 to 2014.
“Playing there in the Cotton Bowl with the State Fair of Texas going on you had probably 300,000 or 400,000 people on the Fairgrounds, and then you’ve got 100,000 in the stadium. I mean, it is a packed house,” he said. “You come down the ramp and into the stadium and you’ve got half of the stadium in burnt orange and half of the stadium in crimson. It’s one of those special games that are really significant to college football. It’s one of the best rivalries and probably in the top five of college football.”
Wright is one of the few to coach on both sides of the rivalry, and enjoyed both experiences.
“My deal was being a coach and always wanting to be a coach when I got into college, especially being born and raised in the state of Texas kind of my goal was always to coach at the University of Texas,” he said. “That was special to me. After that time came to the end and I ended up going north of the Red as they say, that was special because I was going to another program rich in history and rich in tradition a special place like the University of Oklahoma. Coming back and playing in that game was really special.”
The 2000 game, which came during Oklahoma’s national championship season, is one of the most memorable for Wright.
He also fondly recalls the Sooners’ win in 2001, and Texas’ four straight wins from 1989 to 1992.
“The Roy Williams one definitely stands out,” Wright said of the 2001 game where the future Dallas Cowboys defensive back forced an interception to seal a 14-3 Oklahoma win. “Superman Roy Williams flying through the backfield was probably the biggest one during that time.
“When I was at the University of Texas, the ones that stick out are probably the Peter Gardere years,” he continued. “Peter Gardere was our starting quarterback all four years and we won all four of those games and Peter got tagged as ‘Peter the Great.’”
Wright retired at Oklahoma after the 2014 season, and coached for a season at Edna before beginning his present position in July.
Wright’s three daughters graduated from Oklahoma, and his youngest daughter will be at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.
Wright has friends from both schools and tries to remain as neutral as possible.
“I root for both of them unless they play each other and then I’m kind of torn,” he said. “Obviously, spending the last 17 years of my career at OU, I probably lean a little more toward OU.”