Lincoln Riley is officially public enemy No. 1 in Norman, Oklahoma after the team not only lost their rivalry game against Oklahoma State, but he would bolt from the program in less than 24 hours.
Lincoln Riley is leaving Oklahoma for the West Coast as he has agreed to become USC’s next head football coach.
During his five seasons as head coach in Norman, Riley amassed a 55-10 record, had his teams ranked in the top 10 each year and made four College Football Playoff appearances.
None of that matters anymore as fans are lashing out at him leaving, which was displayed when somebody posted ‘traitor’ signs at the stadium.
“My time at OU has included some of the most special years of my life and my family’s lives,” Riley said in a news release from OU. “I had so many great memories and made so many great friends that we’ll take with us forever. A lot of things that we were a part of here, I’m incredibly proud of — the success on the field, the success off the field, the players. Proud of the staff. Proud of the way we worked so well with the university and our administration. We’ve been able to have two phenomenal leaders in President Harroz and Joe Castiglione, and they have been everything I could ever ask for in this role and more.
“Leaving OU was probably the most difficult decision of my life. OU is one of the best college football programs in the country, and it has been forever. That’s not going to change. It’s not going to change in the SEC, it’s not going to change with another head coach. It’s stood the test of time and it’s going to continue to do so. 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.
“We’ll leave here with fond memories. It’ll be very difficult to say goodbye to Norman, but it will always be a part of our family, our history. I’ll be a Sooner fan as long as I live — a fan of this state, of this university and the people here. I love them all very much.”
Former OU head coach Bob Stoops will serve as interim head coach.
The 38-year-old Riley replaces former Trojans coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September after posting a 46-24 record in seven seasons.
Riley called the football tradition at USC “unparalleled.”
“I look forward to honoring that successful tradition and building on it,” he said in the statement released by USC. “The pieces are in place for us to build the program back to where it should be and the fans expect it to be.”