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Mike Leach's Former Apprentice Reportedly Set to Become New USC Head Coach

Lincoln Riley is reportedly leaving Oklahoma for USC.

Just one day after declaring that he would not become the new LSU head coach, Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley is set to become the new coach at USC, according to a report from Matt Zenitz of On3Sports.

Riley, one of the coaches down current Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach's tree, runs a version of the Air Raid offense will take on a team that ran a modified version of the scheme under Clay Helton before him. 

Riley originally got his start playing as a walk-on quarterback at Texas Tech behind senior signal-caller Kliff Kingsbury and backup passer B.J. Symons. From there, he eventually became a graduate assistant under Leach and then moved up to wide receivers coach.

After Leach and the Red Raiders went their separate ways and after Riley departed from Texas Tech himself, he accepted a position as the offensive coordinator at East Carolina University, where he remained for five seasons.

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Riley was hired as the Oklahoma offensive coordinator by Bob Stoops in January of 2015 and made progress with the Sooners quicker than anyone could have hoped for, helping make the team the No. 7 offense in the nation en route to gaining a spot in the College Football Playoff. He was also named the winner of the Broyles Award, presented annually to the top assistant coach in the country.

Riley was named the head coach of the program when Stoops retired in June of 2017 and has since had plenty of success there with quarterbacks like Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, who took the Sooners to a Big 12 conference championship, saw them place at No. 2 in the CFB rankings with a Rose Bowl appearance.

It will be interesting to see what kind of heights Riley can take a USC program that has struggled in several aspects this season.