The Oregon coaching search is underway, and Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is reportedly in the mix.
The Oregon Ducks have officially entered the coaching search market. On Tuesday night, athletic director Rob Mullens decided to part ways with head coach Mark Helfrich. Helfrich compiled a 37-16 record over the course of four years before being fired. He was the offensive coordinator on Chip Kelly’s staff from 2009-12.
The Ducks will now look to usher in a new era, and are expected to make an outside hire rather than promoting from within, which was the case for the past few hires. They could, however, still go the offensive coordinator route.
One guy reportedly on the list is Oklahoma offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Lincoln Riley. According to Football Scoop, Oregon reps have already reached out to gauge the interest of Riley.
In his two seasons in Norman, Riley has led one of the nation’s most explosive offensive units. The year prior to his arrival Oklahoma ranked No. 24 in the nation in total offense. In 2015 he improved the unit to No. 7 and currently in 2016 the Sooners are No. 3.
Riley cut his teeth coaching at his alma mater, Texas Tech, after walking onto the football team in 2002. The starter at the time was now-Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Riley was part of the Red Raiders’ staff from 2003-09. He was then hired by East Carolina as the Pirates offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and received the assistant head coach title in 2014.
At just 33 years old, he’s one of the hottest young names in coaching circles, and will certainly get his shot as a head coach sooner rather than later. Whether that’s with the Ducks remains to be seen.