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Oklahoma approves 5-years, $25 million for Lincoln Riley

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lincoln Riley got a major raise a year ago based on potential.

This one was based on results.

Oklahoma will pay its football coach $25 million over the next five years, including $4.8 million this season. Oklahoma’s Board of Regents approved the new numbers on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Riley was one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the nation before being named head coach last summer after Bob Stoops’ abrupt retirement. Shortly after his promotion, the board approved a deal for Riley that started at $3.1 million. He delivered the goods in his first year as a head coach at any level, leading the Sooners to the Big 12 title, a spot in the College Football Playoff and a No. 3 final ranking while coaching Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Now, Oklahoma has made a significant commitment to keeping one of the rising stars in college coaching in place.

“Coach Riley has handled the whole transition and leading, I think, in a very special way,” athletic director Joe Castiglione said.

The biggest jump came in his supplemental income, which increased from $2.475 million to $3.475 million and is set to increase by $100,000 per year. He has an annual retention benefit of $500,000.

Castiglione said Oklahoma has been proactive in trying to keep Riley happy.

“Sometimes, we’re talking about it much earlier than anybody else,” Castiglione said. “A lot of times, people talk about it in a reactive way. We take some time to work through, to negotiate, reach agreement. Over time, we recognize where a program wants to be, where it needs to be; the importance of continuity in all of our staff, most notably our head coaches, and we try to do as much as we can to be as competitive as we can with the marketplace.”

Castiglione said Riley performed admirably, given that he followed one of the most successful college coaches of the past quarter century. Stoops led the Sooners to 10 conference championships and a national title in 18 seasons.

“I think it goes back to just the whole culture around the program, from the time coach Stoops made his decision and the way that he made it,” Castiglione said. “He wanted to leave the program in great shape through the evaluation that we had to who would be the next, best leader for our program, and obviously, we all know that we figured the best leader was right there on campus.”


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