It looks like Lincoln Riley is taking multiple Oklahoma staff members with him to USC.
Rivals site SoonerScoop.com posted a video of Riley and other OU staffers getting on a plane to head to Los Angeles on Monday morning. According to Sooner Scoop, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons were among the group of people who drove to a private plane hangar with Riley.
USC later tweeted a picture of athletic director Mike Bohn with Riley in front of a private jet. Riley’s departure from Oklahoma to USC is one of most stunning college football coaching moves in years.
Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will be the Sooners’ interim coach for the team’s bowl game. Oklahoma lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday night, a loss that made Riley’s move to USC on Sunday possible. Had Oklahoma won the game, the Sooners would be currently preparing to play OSU again in the Big 12 championship game.
An Oklahoma fan taking Riley’s departure well hung a sign that said “traitor” at the entrance to the football stadium on Sunday night.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said in the last paragraph of his statement on Sunday night that he told Oklahoma’s players that the program was bigger than one person.
“When we met with the team today, I communicated to our players that our program is about them. It will always be bigger than any one person. And just as it’s always been, Oklahoma football is positioned for greatness.”
The Sooners are moving to the SEC along with Texas no later than 2025. If Riley left Oklahoma this offseason, it seemed that the destination would be LSU. But LSU was simply a smokescreen for a move to USC and an area where he’s been fruitfully recruiting in recent years.