Lincoln Riley says he’s not interested in NFL right now

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Cross another name off the NFL coaching search rumor mill.

Via Howie Kussoy of the New York Post, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said Thursday he wasn’t interested in any NFL jobs this offseason.

“I can’t tell you how I’m gonna feel in 10 years, but no, not right now,” Riley said. “If I wasn’t at one of the elite programs in the country, maybe, but no, I’m very happy where I’m at right now.

“If it was 20, 30 years ago, where there were some major differences, maybe. … The way the college game has evolved, financially it’s a lot better situation now when you compare it to NFL teams. We’re at a place where we’re happy, and we don’t take that for granted. I love coaching at Oklahoma, love coaching college football.”

The 35-year-old Riley would have been an interesting name, and considering the inflated market for people looking for the next offensive whiz kid like Sean McVay or Matt Nagy, he’d have likely had chances to make the jump. The Jets were considered among the teams interested, along with the Browns and Packers (who have, you know, actual openings).

But as we learned from Nick Saban insisting that he wasn’t coaching Alabama (where oddly enough, he remains), nothing is forever when it comes to coaches. That Riley would admit he might reconsider down the road is interesting in its own right. He’s also had to address the speculation with recruits, the lifeblood of the college product.

“I was very upfront, said what I’ve said the 15 times I’ve been asked about it since,” Riley said. “I told them the truth. I told them I love where I’m at right now, and I don’t have that itch right now, and I fully plan on being at Oklahoma.”

There’s a risk involved in not making the jump when you can, but Riley’s apparently willing to take it to stay where he’s found success.

24 responses to “Lincoln Riley says he’s not interested in NFL right now

  1. If I were a coach and I was successful at the college level, there is no way I would go to the nfl. Not. Even. Maybe.

  2. Who can blame these college coaches for not wanting to go the NFL? As a college coach, they are virtual dictators and can treat the players any way they want and with all the gratuities they get, they make more money than the pro coaches anyway.
    In the pros, they have to do what their GM’s or the owners tell them, and they have to play guys they wouldn’t even want on their roster because of the money they are making. And, if they so much as speak to a player in the wrong tone, they run the risk of alienating the other players or worse — having the Players Association get involved.
    No doubt about it — all things considered, college coaches have it better by far than the pro colleges. If I were a coach in a big time college program, no way I’d leave it for the NFL.

  3. This reminds me of how every year the media would stump for David Shaw getting an NFL gig. Nobody ever thought maybe he already had a sweet situation at Stanford and perhaps wasn’t even interested in the Not for Long league.

  4. if they were courting kliff kingbury then clearly Lincoln would be a hotter commodity…boomer sooner!!!

  5. That’s cause everyone on the planet knows he’s the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys since Jason Garrett is getting another year makes sense to stay there

  6. Riley is being smart and looking out for his family.
    I would think the job security where he is beats the NFL.

  7. I would maintain that the Rileys, Sabans, Swinneys and Meyers of the world have an even tougher job than an NFL HC. In the NFL you can lose 6 games and still have a decent shot at the playoffs, while in D1 FBS a 1-loss season all but knocks you out of the running for the big prize. Then there’s the whole recruiting piece that’s the lifeblood of a college program that an NFL HC avoids altogether. And make no mistake, the alumni boards at some of these D1 schools are far less patient and forgiving than the majority of owners in the NFL. You can ask guys like Les Miles about that.

  8. “If it was 20, 30 years ago, where there were some major differences, maybe.”

    Those major differences being that you were 15 years old 20 years ago and 5 years old 30 years ago. It’d be hard to pass up NFL money at that point in life

  9. He’s churning big coin and if he’s happy, I’m happy for him. The grass isn’t always greener in the NFL. He’s 35. Uprooting your wife and children to try to chase more money or glory is just insane. He will not be wearing out his welcome in Norman any times soon as long as he keeps getting in the playoffs. He is a wise man.

  10. No successful college coach should make the jump – the pay is the same and college coaches wield more power these days than any nfl coach ever will

  11. I want to see what he does with his recruits before he is annointed as the next guru on college ball. If they did not have Kyler Murray this year they may have ended up 8 and 4 this season.

  12. I don’t think he would work out in the NFL. The only real coach that came out of college without any NFL experience or knowledge of an NFL lockeroom and all of its politics was Jimmy Johnson, and that’s becuase Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones were learning on the fly together and Jimmy was allowed to get rid of all the old veterans stuck in their ways, and bring in a bunch of wide eyed kids fresh out of college who accepted the Jimmy Johnson college atmosphere…that’s all they knew.

    Lincoln Riley would have to be afforded that same opportunity, and he has to have CEO vision and elite administrative skills.

    Too many variables at play for his probability of success on the NFL level. I’d pass.

  13. Riley can coach some offense, but currently he is not receiving much blame for the atrocious defense that club plays. HC needs to manage the whole team not just the offense.

  14. He’s a Texas kid every single one of them grows up dreaming of playing for the Star when Jerry makes the call he will answer till then he’ll win his 10 plus games a year in the lack of defense Big 12

  15. With the current trajectory of the NFL and their penchant for churning through coaches, I don’t know why anyone would leave a favorable position in college for a lateral move to the NFL.

  16. They ask a college coach about the NFL when he is preparing his team for the college football playoff. What do you think he is going to say?

    Riley is a great offensive mind. Add him with a quality NFL DC and he would be a very interesting option in the NFL.

    The Packers plan to interview at least 12 people for their job. I would not be the least bit surprised if Lincoln Riley is going to be one of them. No one can discuss anything until Oklahoma’s season is over.

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