Oklahoma knows it needs to keep offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. The university did just that once again Thursday afternoon.
The OU Board of Regents approved another major raise for Riley, extending his contract through the 2019 season.
The three-year deal is the longest ever in the history of OU’s program for an assistant and now Riley becomes one of the highest paid assistants in the nation, making $1.3 million per season the next three years.
“I appreciate OU and Coach Stoops taking a chance on me a couple of years ago and the loyalty they've shown to my family," said Riley in a press release. "We are extremely grateful, and I want to display my strong loyalty to this school and program in return. We absolutely love living here. It's a place we relate to, a place we feel very much at home.
“I love the people I work with at OU and I love the players I coach. It's been a fantastic first two years, but I'm excited for what's ahead in Norman. We're looking forward to being a part of this university and community for a long time.”
Entering the 2016 season, there were only five assistant coaches making at least $1.3 million per year, according to USA Today. Riley was at No. 16 last year, making $900,000. The year before that, his initial in Norman, he was at $500,000.
The OU offense under Riley the last two seasons has been incredible, putting up some historical numbers and earning numerous awards for individuals and for team marks.
“This has been in the works for a few months,” said Stoops in the press release. “Lincoln's done a phenomenal job in his two years here and we're excited for him and his family. They're great people and have fully immersed themselves into the Oklahoma community.
“He's fully committed to OU and what we're doing as a university and football program, and all of us are looking forward to continuing to work together to develop young men on and off the field, and bring more championships to Norman.”
Locking up Riley won’t just help on the field, but it’s going to do wonders for the Sooners on the recruiting trail. It’s no secret other schools have been using the possibility of Riley leaving for a head coaching job as ammo in recruiting wars.
With Riley now making more than a lot of head coaches and signing a three-year deal, offensive recruits should breathe a sigh of relief and know Riley’s intentions are to be in Norman for quite some time.
The Sooners have won back-to-back Big 12 championships with Riley as offensive coordinator. Former wide receiver Dede Westbrook became OU’s first winner of the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best receiver.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield has finished in the top five for the Heisman Trophy Award in back-to-back seasons.
Riley earned the Broyles Award following the 2015 season, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.
More stats from OU:
OU's offense was even more potent in 2016. The Sooners led the nation in passing efficiency rating (their mark of 193.79 set an FBS record) and pass completion percentage (.706), and ranked second in total offense (554.8 ypg), third in scoring offense (43.9 ppg) and third down conversion percentage (.515).