USC hires Lincoln Riley as head coach

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Lincoln Riley has agreed to become USC's new head coach after spending the last five seasons at Oklahoma, the Trojans announced Sunday.

"We are ecstatic to announce Lincoln Riley as our new head coach and welcome his wife Caitlin and their daughters Sloan and Stella to the Trojan Family," USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. "Lincoln is the rarest combination of extraordinary person and elite football coach."

Bohn added: "Lincoln is universally considered one of the brightest and most talented football coaches in the nation, and the fact that he chose USC is a testament to the strength of our brand, the power of the Trojan Family, and the leadership of our university. This is for our current players, our former players, our alumni, our fans, and our entire university community. Our time is now."

The 38-year-old Riley has helped Oklahoma become one of the nation's top teams, posting a 55-10 record since becoming the school's head coach in 2017. The Sooners have won four straight Big 12 titles with Riley on the sideline.

"I am truly excited to come to USC and join the Trojan Family as its new head football coach," Riley said. "USC has an unparalleled football tradition with tremendous resources and facilities, and the administration has made a deep commitment to winning."

Riley will not be making the move alone, as Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is set to take the same position with USC, according to ESPN's Chris Low. Grinch spent the last three seasons with the Sooners and was a co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State before that. He is a four-time nominee for the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant.

The news comes one day after Riley shot down rumors linking him to LSU next year, leading many to believe he was locked in with the Sooners for the foreseeable future. The Tigers and Ed Orgeron agreed in October to part ways at the end of this season.

Riley was in the second season of a six-year deal that he signed in June 2020 and was paying him just over $8 million in 2021.

USC had been looking for a new head coach since the school fired Clay Helton in September. The team dropped to 4-7 this season after losing to BYU on Saturday.

The Trojans have struggled to meet expectations in recent years. USC hasn't claimed a Pac-12 title since 2017 and is 22-20 dating back to the 2018 season.

The Sooners, who are set to move to the SEC in 2025, haven't had a head coaching search since 1999, when they hired Bob Stoops, according to Jason Kersey of The Athletic.

Stoops brought in Riley in 2015 as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The 61-year-old Stoops, who retired from football after the 2016 campaign, will coach the Sooners in their remaining bowl game this season, reports Kersey.

Oklahoma is targeting Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as a potential replacement for Riley, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

USC hires Lincoln Riley as head coach
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