No, Sooners coach Lincoln Riley has not changed his mind. He is staying at Oklahoma, he reiterated this week.
He won’t be coaching the Browns or the Jets or any team in the NFL in 2019.
“I can’t tell you how I’m gonna feel in 10 years, but no, not right now,” Riley said Thursday, per the New York Post. “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.”
Riley, 35, has led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff in each of his first two seasons as head coach in Norman. The Sooners face No. 1 Alabama at 8 p.m. ET Saturday in the Orange Bowl in the day’s second semifinal. The winner plays the Clemson-Notre Dame winner (4 p.m. ET) for the championship Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.
In addition to Riley’s success at Oklahoma, the fact he coached Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield at OU has fueled interest in Cleveland. The Brows are led by interim coach Gregg Williams, who is 5-2 since replacing Hue Jackson. The Browns are 7-7-1 and close out their season Sunday against the Ravens in Baltimore.
Earlier this month, Mayfield told reporters (via ESPN), “Lincoln’s been ready. Just who he is, how he coaches, the respect level he’s had from all of his players. How detailed he is. He’s ready. But that’s his decision. He’s got something special there. I don’t think anybody’s going to blame him if he stays there for the next 20 years.”
And speaking of 20 years …
“If it was 20, 30 years ago, where there were some major differences, maybe,” Riley said this week, per the Post. “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.
“I was very upfront, said what I’ve said the 15 times I’ve been asked about it since. I told them the truth. I told them I love where I’m at right now, and I don’t have that itch right now, and I fully plan on being at Oklahoma.”