Lincoln Riley Says He's Not Interested in Pursuing NFL Coaching Job 'Right Now'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2018

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 23:  Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners in action against the West Virginia Mountaineers  on November 23, 2018 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley said Thursday that he has no immediate interest in becoming an NFL head coach.

According to Howie Kussoy of the New York Post, Riley did leave the door open for making the leap to the NFL in the future, but not any time soon:

"I can't tell you how I'm gonna feel in 10 years, but no, not right now. 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 is in his second season as head coach at Oklahoma, and he has led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff in each of his two campaigns at the helm.

Since taking over for Bob Stoops, Riley has gone 24-3, won a pair of Big 12 titles and gained a reputation as one of the best play-callers in college football.

Last season, Riley helped quarterback Baker Mayfield win the Heisman Trophy and eventually get selected No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.

He followed that up by guiding quarterback Kyler Murray to a Heisman triumph this season.

On Saturday, Riley and the Sooners will face the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl. The winner goes on to face either Clemson or Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Considering Oklahoma's dominance in the Big 12 and status as a perennial national title contender, Riley has the luxury of standing pat until the perfect opportunity presents itself at the NFL level.