“It’s a time old story… Boy meets university, boy has success at university and university offers boy large extension.” -Me in Oh You: The Lincoln Riley Extension
That is exactly how it went down, too. Lincoln Riley is now going to be tied for the 7th highest paid college football coach in the country, based on last year’s top salaries. The contract gives him a bump in salary from $4.8 million this year to $6 million next year. However, that’s just the base salary. Riley also has a “Stay” bonus. What does that mean? I’ll tell you my curious friend. It means that every year, as long as he doesn’t leave to take a different job, he’ll receive a bonus of $700,000.
Incentives to Stay
We’re well aware of the craziness that is the college football coaching carousel, so included in the inner-workings of the contract are a couple extra incentives to keep Mr. Riley in Norman. The first come as salary bumps every year he stays. What does that mean? It means his base salary bumps up every year by $150,000. Those bumps run until 2023 which I’m sure if he continues to appear in 60% of the College Football Playoffs. Riley has played a major part in leading Oklahoma to the CFP in 3 of the last 4 years as the Offensive Coordinator and then two straight appearances as the head man.
It isn’t until April Fools Day, April 1st, of 2021 that the next big incentive hits. As long as Riley is still sailing the ship for Oklahoma at that time he will receive an extra $1 million dollars. Which is a very interesting date and time when you think about it…
April 1st, 2021
I don’t think we will have cars hovering through the air like the Jetsons or anything like that, but the Sooner offense might be futuristic by then. It’s important to note that Oklahoma has transfer Jalen Hurts, a quarterback who has already played at the highest level on the roster for this upcoming season. He will be battling 5-star recruit Spencer Rattler for the starting job . Either way, Riley, a quarterback whisperer if you will, will have a 5 star quarterback after this year with some eligibility left. With Rattler having 4 years of eligibility left, if he were to redshirt, will make this time next year crucial. If Oklahoma reaches another CFP this year and finally reaches the Championship game, Riley might be a lifer.
Although, if anything else happens, he might turn to any number of the jobs that will eventually be on the market OR give it a year with the 2020 OU team. That’s the key part of the contract though. He has 2 seasons to decide whether he earns an extra $1 Million, but I believe the stress is on this year. The stress is on Riley after having back-to-back Heisman winners and still not reaching the championship game, to do just that. That’s a lot on a young coach with a porous defense, but one of the greatest offensive minds we’ve seen.
To Wrap it Up
The story of Lincoln Riley and the success he has achieved at Oklahoma over the last 2 seasons is unprecedented. I’d argue that during the current decade, he has been one of the top 3 most successful coaches. Besides the obvious answers in Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, leading his team to the CFP 3 of the last 4 seasons and 2 straight CFP appearances. The “Guru” as I will start to refer to him as, has compiled a record of 24-4 (85.7% winning percentage) overall and 16-2 in conference (88.8% winning percentage). Add to those numbers back-to-back Heisman winners and I think there is a significant case to be made.
I ABSOLUTLY CAN NOT WAIT to see how the offseason shapes up for my guy and the newest addition to my list of favorite teams. Hopefully another successful season for Boomer Sooner Nation.