Finding a replacement for Bob Stoops was never difficult for Oklahoma.
Stoops abruptly stepped down from his post as Oklahoma’s coach last June, but his successor, Lincoln Riley, was already in Norman, Okla.
University of Oklahoma President David Boren didn’t need to be sold on Riley as the Sooners’ next football coach. Riley impressed Boren way before he took over the program in June 2017, according to The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel.
“[Riley’s] known that I’ve always had my eye on him as a possible head coach someday,” Boren told The Oklahoman. “I didn’t know it would come so soon. [Riley] has the same values, the same manner, look you straight in the eye and tell you the truth, just like Bob Stoops. So he reminds me very much of coach Stoops when he was that age and in that position in his career.”
Riley proved a worthy hire, leading Oklahoma to a Big 12 title and College Football Playoff appearance. He won 12 games in his first season and produced a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback.
Riley might be on his way to a national championship in Year 2 — like Stoops — at the pace he has set for himself.
It will not be easy living up to Stoops’ legacy, but Riley is doing a fine job so far of trying.
Visit NewsOK.com for more of Boren’s comments on the transition from Stoops to Riley.