Lincoln Riley Receives Raise, Contract Extension

Oklahoma's head coach agreed to a six-year, $45.2 million deal through 2025, while eight assistant coaches all received raises and extensions.
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Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has agreed to a six-year, $45.2 million contract that includes a two-year extension, per Tuesday’s OU Board of Regents meeting in Norman.

The deal was reportedly finalized in February, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, and was approved this week.

Riley is now under contract with the Sooners through the 2025 season.

His previous contract, set in January 2019, was a five-year deal worth $32 million.

Riley and several others, including athletic director Joe Castiglione, previously agreed to a 10 percent salary reduction as part of the university’s cost-cutting measures to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Athletic director Joe Castiglione said the terms were already agreed to before the pandemic and before the salary reduction. Riley had been scheduled to make $6 million in 2020 and his new deal would have taken him to $6.83 million this year, but with the raise and the reduction, his salary now stands at $6.15 million.

“Honestly, (taking a pay cut) wasn’t much of a thought process," Riley said on July 3. “Joe stopped by the house and told me what he was thinking, and it took me about 2 1/2 seconds and I said, ‘I’m good with it,’ and that was it.

“We’re all having to adjust. … It’s unprecedented, and we’ve all got to do our part. It’s changed things for all of us, so I didn’t see any reason why I should be any different.”

Riley’s annual salary

  • 2020: $6.15 million
  • 2021: $8.05 million*
  • 2022: 7.565 million
  • 2023: $8.275 million*
  • 2024: $7.585 million
  • 2025: $7.585 million
  • Six years, $45.2 million

* includes respective stay bonuses of $500,000 and $750,000

“We felt obviously that it’s important for us to keep our commitment,” said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. “We’re very, very understanding of the unique times that we’re in, but in our normal, proactive way, we started conversations back in early December that resulted in an agreement in principle in February.

“With that said, it’s reflective of the marketplace. Most importantly, it allows Oklahoma, our program and our fans to have the certainty that our coaches are connected to us for an extended period of time.”

The Oklahoman's Ryan Aber also reported that Riley's "additional outside income" from OU's private fundraising arm was increased by $1 million, while his annual "stay benefit" of $700,000 and his retirement contribution were adjusted.

Alex Grinch, the Sooners’ second-year defensive coordinator, received the largest raise among Riley’s staff — up $400,000 to $1.8 million, including a $200,000 stay bonus.

Assistant head coach for offense Shane Beamer got a raise to $540,000, co-offensive coordinator rand offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh got a raise to $760,000 plus a $50,000 stay bonus, co-offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach Cale Gundy got a raise to $580,000.

Roy Manning ($470,000), Brian Odom ($435,000), Dennis Simmons ($510,000) and Calvin Thibodeaux ($435,000) also had their contracts modified and extended through at least Jan. 31, 2022. All OU assistants got two-year contracts except Grinch (three) and DeMarco Murray (one). Strength coach Bennie Wylie ($430,000) also got two years added to his contract.

Contracts were previously approved for first-year assistant coaches Jamar Cain ($435,000) and Murray ($350,000) when the regents met in March.

Assistant salaries

What Oklahoma football assistant coaches will make:

  • Alex Grinch, defensive coordinator/safeties: $1.8 million (up from $1.4 million)
  • Bill Bedenbaugh, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line: $810,000 (up from $750,000)
  • Cale Gundy, co-offensive coordinator/inside receivers: $580,000 (up from $535,000)
  • Shane Beamer, assistant HC for offense/tight ends/H-backs: $540,000 (up from $470,000)
  • Dennis Simmons, associate HC/outside receivers: $510,000 (up from $450,000)
  • Roy Manning, cornerbacks: $470,000 (up from $425,000)
  • Calvin Thibodeaux, defensive line: $435,000 (up from $375,000)
  • Brian Odom, inside linebackers: $435,000 (up from $375,000)

Men’s basketball head coach Lon Kruger got an extension through June 30, 2024, while assistant coaches Carlin Hartman, James Molinari and Pooh Williamson each had their deals extended through June 30, 2021.

Softball head coach Patty Gasso also saw her contract extended through June 30, 2027.

Women’s basketball head coach Sherri Coale got an extension through June 30, 2024, and assistants Colton Coale and Jackie Stiles each were extended through June 30, 2021.

OU also extended the contracts of women’s tennis coach Audra Cohen, women’s rowing coach Leeanne Crain, men’s tennis coach Nicholas Crowell, women’s golf coach Luttrell Drouin, volleyball coach Lindsey Gray-Walton, men’s golf coach Ryan Hybl, baseball coach Skip Johnson, women’s gymnastics coach K.J. Kindler, men’s wrestling coach Lou Rosselli and men’s gymnastics coach Mark Williams.

New men’s track coach Tim Langford’s contract was approved at $125,000 under a  one-year deal.

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