Grantland: Who does Kittle think he is?
Grantland.com has a feature on the life of Oklahoma offensive tackles/tight ends coach Bruce Kittle, who has lived an interesting life. Kittle is a former Iowa offensive lineman who worked as an attorney, mediator and pastor before coming to the Sooners in 2010 as the recruiting coordinator. Here's an excerpt:
Here's a list of things you can find at the Barry Switzer Center at the University of Oklahoma: a BCS crystal football. An inspirational quote from John Madden. A Sam Bradford statue. An assistant coach who reads the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
The coach is Bruce Kittle, who's in charge of the Sooners' offensive tackles and tight ends. Kittle appears before me one afternoon with a shaved head and a goatee and an outfit that looks like it was bought that morning at the OU team store. He's a strange pilgrim in Norman. When Kittle was hired a couple years ago, he'd just returned from a vision quest that spanned two decades and had nothing to do with football. "I wanted to explore some of the unanswered questions the universe presents," he says. Kittle had spent time as a pastor. A prison mediator. A lawyer. I've come to Norman to ask Kittle why he once bolted from college football and how odd it must feel — after exploring the mysteries of the universe — to have returned.
Let's start at the beginning. In 1981, Kittle was a 290-pound offensive tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He was the kind of thoughtful, tough guy who gets called "head-coaching material." "Overachiever," says Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, a former teammate. Translated: not an All-American, but destined for big things.