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Oklahoma HC Rumors: Cardinals' Kliff Kingsbury Targeted After Lincoln Riley to USC

Doric SamNovember 29, 2021

AP Photo/John Froschauer

The Oklahoma Sooners apparently already have a candidate in mind to replace Lincoln Riley, who is reportedly set to be named head coach at USC.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Oklahoma has targeted Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as one of the potential replacements. Schefter noted that Kingsbury has one year left on his contract after this season.

Kingsbury is in his third year coaching Arizona, which has the best record in the NFL at 9-2. He led the Cardinals to a 5-10-1 record in his first year in 2019 and the team improved to 8-8 last season.

When he accepted the head coaching position at Arizona, Kingsbury was tasked with developing quarterback Kyler Murray, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft.

In his third year, Murray has blossomed into one of the most dynamic players in the league and was considered an MVP candidate prior to missing three games with an ankle injury. He's thrown 17 touchdowns and rushed for three more scores in eight games.

Prior to joining the Cardinals, the 42-year-old made a name for himself as one of the best offensive minds in college football. Kingsbury was the head coach of Texas Tech from 2013-18, where he coached quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes. 

Kingsbury was a fast-riser in the coaching ranks. He got his start on the offensive staff at the University of Houston in 2008. He was then named offensive coordinator for Texas A&M in 2012, the same year Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy.

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Kingsbury and the Cardinals were on a bye in Week 12 and will return to action on Dec. 5 against the Chicago Bears.

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