Lincoln Riley just made a big-time move for what is likely Riley’s and the USC Trojans’ most important off-the-field football role.
Dave Emerick, longtime chief lieutenant for Mike Leach, is leaving Leach’s Mississippi State staff to become USC’s “General Manager/Senior Associate Athletic Director for Football.”
Emerick shared the news Saturday in a statement posted to his Twitter account.
“I have had the privilege of working for Coach Leach for 18 years,” Emerick wrote, “from Texas Tech to Washington State to Mississippi State.
“We have had a lot of great times and have won a lot of games along the way. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without him, and I am forever grateful for the impact he has had on my life.”
Riley has systematically overhauled the Trojans’ football department since he was hired away from Oklahoma in late November as USC’s replacement for the fired Clay Helton.
Emerick, who also oversaw all of Mississippi State’s recruiting efforts, has previous Pac-12 experience aside from his run with Leach at Washington State; he spent two seasons – 2010-11 – on staff at the University of Arizona.
Riley, of course, is a former quarterback under Leach who got his start in collegiate coaching working under Leach at Texas Tech.