He might never remember the exact words, but Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is always going to remember that first conversation with Bob Stoops.
Following the 2014 season, Stoops was looking to get the offense back to its Hal Mumme “Air Raid” roots and Riley sure looked to be that guy.
“There’s not a lot of fluff with him. He asked if I was interested and I said yes. We talked about it for a few minutes and I came down to Norman a few days later. I got to visit with everybody and get a little more in-depth. The more I learned about it – and he’s probably say the same thing – it just seemed more and more that it was going to be a good fit.”
Riley’s name had been mentioned in other circles, and he didn’t know for sure it was Stoops calling. He said once he saw the 405 area code, he was pretty confident what the conversation was about.
But because OU didn’t have the banner 2014 season everybody predicted, the Sooners weren’t exactly the school to head to at that moment. In talking to Stoops, though, Riley was sure he could help be the one to turn it back around.
“It’s Oklahoma and I’m Bob Stoops,” joked Riley about the selling point. “No, in watching the film, I agreed … kind of reiterating his desire to get back on track again and how hungry he was to do it and the fact with how close he felt like this team was – if we could get a couple of things to go out way and get moving a little bit … he felt like we had some good players coming back offensively that we had to mold together in the right way and that we were really, really close. I believed it.”
Turns out everybody was right. Everybody trusted their instincts, and it has worked out for all involved, culminating now with OU in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Thursday afternoon.