Sooners extend Riley’s contract

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has agreed to a contract extension, the university announced Tuesday.

Terms of the contract were not revealed. Details are slated to be finalized at a university regents meeting later this month.

“This has been a great home for us,” Riley said in a news release. “We’ve had a great start and we’re excited for many more great years in the future.”

Riley is expected to receive a “significant” raise, according to various reports.

The 35-year-old Riley made $4.8 million this season and $3.1 million last season, according to The Oklahoman. His previous contract ran through the 2023 season.

Riley has a 24-4 record and reached the College Football Playoff in each of his two seasons as coach. The Sooners (12-2) lost to Alabama 45-34 in this season’s CFP semifinal and fell to Georgia 54-48 in the 2017 semi.

His name has arisen as a possible target for an NFL team, but he has thus far resisted the temptation.

The extension figures to halt any pursuit by NFL franchises with current openings.

“I don’t see that as a step up, not in this profession,” Riley told The Oklahoman of the NFL. “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.”

Oklahoma president James Gallogly said the goal is to keep Riley with the Sooners for the long term.

“We felt it was important to extend and amend Lincoln’s contract at this time as we want him at the University of Oklahoma for a long time,” Gallogly said in a statement. “He is a great coach and role model for our student-athletes. His record of success speaks for itself.

“Lincoln is also the right representative for our university in such a high-profile position. I am proud to work with him and anxious to support him as he takes our program into the future.”

Riley replaced the retired Bob Stoops prior to the 2017 season and has produced two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks in two seasons. Baker Mayfield won the award in 2017 before becoming the No. 1 overall pick of the Cleveland Browns, and Kyler Murray won the award this season.

Athletic director Joe Castiglione is impressed with the overall acumen of Riley.

“He has proven to be one of the most innovative minds in the game today as well as a very successful leader for his student-athletes,” Castiglione said in a statement. “His remarkable ascent as one of the most outstanding football coaches in America is grounded in creating the right environment for developing the best growth opportunities for all of his players.

“The incredible level of achievement and energy around our program all point to a very bright future under his leadership.”

–Field Level Media

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