New Oklahoma coach Riley's deal starts at $3.1 million

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Lincoln Riley already had a major upgrade in his job title.

Now, the Bowl Subdivision's youngest head coach has the financial upgrade to match.

Oklahoma's Board of Regents on Tuesday approved a five-year deal that starts at $3.1 million for the first year. It increases by $200,000 annually, with a national championship bonus of $425,000.

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said he feels confident about the package, despite the fact that Riley is just 33 years old and is entering his first head coaching job.

''Like any time we make decisions about contracts, it's always based on result of a lot of evaluation, study, consideration about doing what's right, and doing what best represents the University of Oklahoma,'' Castiglione said.

Riley was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach this month after longtime coach Bob Stoops abruptly stepped down following an 18-year run.

Just last month, Oklahoma had given Riley a three-year contract extension worth $1.3 million per year, making him one of the highest-paid coordinators in the country.

Stoops will make $325,000 as a special assistant to the athletic director. He likely will spend much of his time using his status and connections to help the school in various ways, including fundraising.

''I'm sure Coach will be an effective voice and person to both listen and advise, but certainly someone our key stakeholders will enjoy seeing because he always does such a great job engaging with people whenever he is involved in those kinds of activities,'' Castiglione said.

New assistant head coach Ruffin McNeill has a two-year deal starting at $560,000. Riley was offensive coordinator while McNeill was the head coach at East Carolina.

''Having the head coaching experience himself gives us another assistant coach with head coaching experience on his staff, along with coach (Mike) Stoops,'' Castiglione said.

''If Coach Riley felt like that was the best addition to his staff for the reasons that he felt important, then that was what we were going to support.''


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