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.