Lincoln Riley (American football) wasn’t leaving Oklahoma for LSU. He didn’t say he wasn’t leaving the Sooners for USC. Riley accepted the head-coaching position at USC. “Leaving OU was probably the most difficult decision of my life,” Riley said in a statement released by Oklahoma. “OU is one of the best college football programs in the country, and it has been forever.
This was a personal decision solely based on my willingness to go take on a new challenge, and I felt like it was the right opportunity for me and my family to do that. USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement announcing the hire, “His successes and offensive accolades as a head coach the past five years are astonishing.
Lincoln is universally considered one of the brightest and most talented football coaches in the nation, and the fact that he chose USC is a testament to the strength of our brand, the power of the Trojan Family, and the leadership of our university.”
“I look forward to honoring that successful tradition and building on it,” he said in the statement released by USC. Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 7, will take on the interim title and coach the Sooners’ bowl game.
Stoops coached the Sooners for 18 seasons before retiring in June 2017.
He led Oklahoma to a national championship in 2000, 10 Big 12 championships and 14 seasons of double-digit victories, and held a 190-48 overall record before handing off the program to Riley ahead of the 2017 season.
He has remained active around the program, including helping coach in practising last year when the staff was short-handed because of COVID-19 cases.
“First and foremost, I’m a program guy and whatever I can do to help OU and to support the players, of course I’m glad to do it,” Stoops said in a statement. “I’ll do everything I can to help them finish the season in a strong and successful way and I look forward to that.” “I’d like to thank Coach Riley for all he has done to help our football program since he arrived in Norman in 2015,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement.