With guillotines dropping on head coaches everywhere across the NFL following lackluster seasons on Black Monday, it’s only a matter of time before several of college football’s most successful are tied to jobs at the next level.
But the grass ain’t always greener.
ESPN analyst Greg McElroy believes Oklahoma is better than a “dead-end NFL job” and says there’s something to be said leading a powerhouse program with job security and full control of the roster. Here’s what McElroy tweeted early on Monday, a bad morning for numerous NFL head coaches:
“After seeing all these NFL coaching moves this morning, I completely understand why Lincoln Riley would leave his job at a blueblood, powerhouse program for a dead-end NFL job. The job security you receive in the league is amazing… #not #sarcasm Head Coach at OU >>>>>>> NFL.”
After seeing all these NFL coaching moves this morning, I completely understand why Lincoln Riley would leave his job at a blueblood, powerhouse program for a dead-end NFL job.
Head Coach at OU >>>>>>> NFL
— Greg McElroy (@GregMcElroy) December 31, 2018
Just last month, it was reported the Dallas Cowboys were interested in Riley’s services if things didn’t work out with Jason Garrett as head coach. It would undoubtedly be a tough opportunity to turn down for Riley, a Texas native.
But wouldn’t job security come into play if Riley’s tempo-based offense didn’t work in the pros? Prior to Oklahoma’s loss to Alabama on Saturday, Riley dismissed any interest in cashing in on early success and moving on from Oklahoma.
“I can’t tell you how I’m gonna feel in 10 years, but no, not right now,” Riley said. “If I wasn’t at one of the elite programs in the country, maybe, but no, I’m very happy where I’m at right now. “If it was 20, 30 years ago, where there were some major differences, maybe. … The way the college game has evolved, financially it’s a lot better situation now when you compare it to NFL teams.
“We’re at a place where we’re happy, and we don’t take that for granted. I love coaching at Oklahoma, love coaching college football.”
Believe it or not, Riley is not one of college football’s highest-paid coaches relative to success, but he has seen quite an increase in salary in a very short time — so money wouldn’t likely come into play as a motivational point. In 2014, as East Carolina’s offensive coordinator, Riley made $275,000, and parlayed that into a play-calling role at Oklahoma. He helped the Sooners reach the College Football Playoff in his first season and then took Oklahoma back to the final four as a first-year head coach in 2017 (and made it again this fall).
One could surmise a raise and extension coming soon for Riley to make sure he remains with the Sooners for many years to come.