Five things to know about new Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley
After 18 seasons at the helm of Oklahoma, Bob Stoops announced Wednesday that he will retire effective immediately. His replacement, 33-year-old offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, is slated to begin his head coaching career.
Riley will be the youngest head coach in FBS. Here are five other fast facts about Oklahoma's new coach:
• Riley, who started his coaching career as a student assistant under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, joins a long line of first-time head coaches to run the Sooners. In addition to his predecessor Stoops, former Oklahoma head coaches Bud Wilkinson, Chuck Fairbanks and Barry Switzer are among those whose head coaching careers began at Oklahoma.
• Riley already knew his immediate future remained at Oklahoma. He signed a three-year contract extension just last month to remain the Sooners’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. With a $1.3 million annual salary, Riley became one of the top-five highest paid assistant coaches in the country, according to USA Today’s database. He’s about to cash in a bit more as head coach.
• Success came quick to Riley after joining a middling Sooners program coming off an 8-5 campaign in 2014. He engineered an offensive transformation that saw Oklahoma rise from being the 21st-ranked offense in 2014 to No. 4 in Riley’s first season. Riley subsequently won the 2015 Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.
• In the five seasons Riley spent at East Carolina before joining the Sooners, the Pirates set 50 different team or individual offensive records.
• After walking on to Texas Tech as a freshman, then-head coach Mike Leach told Riley he would never play quarterback. Instead, Leach offered Riley the chance to become a student coach, jumpstarting a professional career that began in earnest when Riley became a receivers coach in 2007.