Report: Bob Stoops to Be Oklahoma Interim HC for Bowl Game After Lincoln Riley to USC

Erin WalshNovember 28, 2021

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 20:  Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners runs alongside quarterback Spencer Rattler #7 before a game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma.  The Sooners won 28-21.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley will reportedly be the next head coach of the USC Trojans and will not coach the Sooners' upcoming bowl game, according to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman

Former Sooners head coach Bob Stoops is reportedly expected to be named interim head coach. 

According to Feldman, talks between Riley and USC "really escalated" Saturday night into Sunday morning.

"For Riley, it was the appeal of Los Angeles, the local recruiting talent and the opportunity of trying to rebuild a brand," Feldman wrote. "That was all very enticing to him. He was also impressed with the alignment of the administration."

Riley informed the team and his coaching staff of his decision on Sunday, per Feldman. Stoops was in attendance for that meeting. 

The news of Riley's decision comes after he vehemently denied rumors that he would be the next head coach at LSU following Oklahoma's 37-33 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday. 

The Sooners' loss to the Cowboys eliminated them from Big 12 title contention. They finished with a 10-2 record and third in the conference after losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Baylor. 

Riley had been head coach of the Sooners since 2017 and compiled a 55-10 record. The Sooners won the Big 12 in his first four seasons at the helm, and he also led the team to three College Football Playoff appearances.

Riley will replace Clay Helton at USC. Helton, who was fired in September, was in his seventh full season with the Trojans (he was the interim head coach for one game in 2013) before being canned just two games into the 2021 campaign. 

USC finished the 2021 season 4-7 and fourth in the Pac-12 South behind Utah, Arizona State and UCLA. 

Stoops, meanwhile, coached the Sooners from 1999-2016, compiling a 190-48 record in that span and a 9-9 record in bowl games. He hired Riley as his offensive coordinator in 2015 and pushed for him to be named the team's next head coach in 2017. 

Stoops has been working as a panelist for Fox Sports's college football team. According to 247Sports, he had been linked to USC and Florida's head coaching vacancies but expressed interest in remaining with Fox.