Bob Stoops knows a little about how Lincoln Riley thinks after working with him for a couple of years before his retirement.
And while the current trend is of football coaches divesting themselves of coordinator duties — Dana Holgorsen and Mike Gundy come to mind — Stoops doesn’t expect Riley to follow suit.
It’s hard to argue, considering the success the Oklahoma coach has produced calling plays in his career. He started at Texas Tech and went to East Carolina with success following him at each stop.
Then, he was hired by Stoops at Oklahoma. It gave him a platform to do the job so well that Riley was hired as the Sooners’ coach before last season when Stoops retired.
And the early success in doing both, after taking the Sooners to the Rose Bowl last season, makes Stoops believe Riley will continue his current strategy.
As proof, Stoops tells the Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel that a Hall of Fame coach such as Steve Spurrier handled both jobs.
“Why wouldn’t he?” Stoops told Tramel. “Coach Spurrier did it for forever. Bobby Petrino seems to handle it just fine. Guys that are good with it, why wouldn’t you?”
Riley faced few obstacles in his first season at Oklahoma. Working with Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield might have spoiled him. And Stoops said Riley is aware of some aspects of his new job that come with the territory.
“He just needs to protect himself that the mundane part of the job, people need to handle for him. Certain parts of it, that’s where you have support staff.”
It’s hard to argue about Riley’s early success. And his mentor thinks he can keep doing both jobs, even as it’s becoming rarer in modern college football in the current era.