Lincoln Riley bolts Oklahoma for USC


Lincoln Riley is finished at Oklahoma and it appears USC has hooked a whale.

The Sooners head football coach is leaving the school to take the USC job, according to multiple reports. Sports Illustrated reported USC was targeting Riley as their next coach and an announcement would come within the next 24 hours and The Athletic reported the deal was done.

Oklahoma and USC would later confirm Riley’s departure.

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Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley reacts after his Sooners scored a touchdown against the Baylor Bears on Nov. 13, 2021, in Waco, Texas.

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley reacts after his Sooners scored a touchdown against the Baylor Bears on Nov. 13, 2021, in Waco, Texas.
(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

USC found a big name to replace Clay Helton, who was let go early in the 2021 season. The Trojans had been linked to Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, but he would later shoot down any notion he was planning on leaving the NFL.

Riley had previously been linked to NFL jobs and other college football positions. He shot down a rumor on Saturday that he was interested in the LSU job. He said he was “not going to be the next coach at LSU.” He was right at the time, but didn’t divulge any plans about going to Los Angeles.

OKLAHOMA’S LINCOLN RILEY: ‘I’M NOT GOING TO BE THE NEXT COACH AT LSU’

Lincoln Riley congratulates cornerback Woodi Washington after a fumble return for a touchdown against the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 20, 2021, in Norman, Oklahoma.

Lincoln Riley congratulates cornerback Woodi Washington after a fumble return for a touchdown against the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 20, 2021, in Norman, Oklahoma.
(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Riley took over as Oklahoma’s head coach before the 2017 season. He led the Sooners to three College Football Playoff appearances but never managed to win a game in the tournament. His teams saw the emergence of two Heisman Trophy winners – Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Both players were No. 1 draft picks as well.

He was 55-10 as a head coach and won four Big 12 championships.

Oklahoma lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday. The team’s playoff hopes were dashed earlier this month when the team lost to Baylor.

Lincoln Riley talks to his players before taking on the Kansas Jayhawks on Oct. 23, 2021, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Lincoln Riley talks to his players before taking on the Kansas Jayhawks on Oct. 23, 2021, in Lawrence, Kansas.
(Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

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USC is 4-7 this year and could miss a bowl game for the second consecutive season. The school hasn’t won a bowl game since the 2016 season.



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