Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley received a generous salary bump after making the College Football Playoff in his first season at the helm.
Riley received a $1.7-million raise this month after taking Oklahoma to its second playoff in three years.
His $1.7-million bump ranks second in the country among coaches who received a pay raise the year after making their first playoff appearance, according to SB Nation’s Richard Johnson.
From SB Nation:
Riley is being rewarded for a successful season. Like [Kirby] Smart and [Mark] Helfrich, he was an unproven coach whose salary immediately jumped into the upper echelon.
But one has to think that there’s no way Riley’s extension was going to have him earning one cent less than his quarterback’s [Kyler Murray] MLB signing bonus.
Smart accrued the highest raise ($2.9 million) of any coach after taking Georgia to the playoff last season as well.
There may be some validity to Johnson’s point about Riley making more than Murray.
The Oakland A’s selected the Oklahoma quarterback with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
He negotiated a deal that will allow him to play one more season at Oklahoma and then report to the organization in January following his 2018 football season.
Murray will still get paid by the A’s during the upcoming Sooners’ campaign, making him (legally) the highest-paid college football player in the country.
A huge raise would’ve eventually come for Riley, however, regardless of Murray’s rare situation.
The Sooners are on solid footing under the young, offensive-minded coach.
Sure, success came quickly for Riley, who enjoyed a year of Baker Mayfield at quarterback. But the keys to the program were handed to Riley immediately after Bob Stoops retired clearly for good reason.
Oklahoma is recruiting at a high level, owns the talent for another playoff run in 2018 and has arguably the best offensive play caller in the country as its coach.
The challenge for Oklahoma now is apparently keeping the NFL away from Riley.