Oklahoma fans may be able to breathe a sigh of relief. For the moment it looks like head coach Lincoln Riley is staying put in Norman, at least according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM Radio.
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) December 31, 2018
Riley, who has been mentioned for about every open seat in the NFL, has come off of back-to-back playoff appearances and produced the last two Heisman Trophy winners in his first two seasons since taking over for Bob Stoops. There has been much speculation that Riley would reunite with Cleveland Browns quarterback, Baker Mayfield since Hue Jackson was let go mid-season.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 5, 2018
The Sooners, fresh off their tough night in a 45-34 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl, are in need of some good news, and this might be it. Oklahoma’s head coach was asked about the possibility of leaving for the pro ranks frequently during the lead up to the National Semifinal in Miami, and he continuously quelled those rumors, as he did when asked following Oklahoma’s loss to Alabama.
“If anything, last night just makes me hungrier,” Riley said Sunday morning. “We’ve gotten a lot done here. You don’t sit there and say we didn’t get it done. We got a lot done, but we know there’s a little more left to get done. I feel like we’re about to do it.
“Like I’ve said, I don’t see that as a step up, not in this profession. It’s not a burning desire of mine by any stretch right now. Not even close. It doesn’t even compare to my burning desire to win a national championship here.”
Riley’s current contract is worth $5-million per year and runs through the 2023 season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Sooners break open the checkbook to keep their man in Norman for as long as possible. Who knows if Riley will succeed Bob Stoops in staying at one school for their entire career as the head guy, but it looks like Oklahoma fans have their leader for awhile to come. That is good news for the OU faithful and bad news for the rest of the Big 12’s fan-bases.