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Lincoln Riley pens piece explaining his decision behind leaving Oklahoma for USC

Lincoln Riley writes an article for The Player's Tribune where he tries to explain his decision to leave Oklahoma for USC.


That's the question that so many (especially Oklahoma fans) have wondered about Lincoln Riley's decision to leave one of college football's blue blood programs for another located across the country.

Riley has been asked about the decision countless times, but today a piece published by The Player's Tribune Riley peeled back the curtain a bit further on not only his decision, but what led up to it as well in a piece titled Sometimes Life Throws You a Curveball.

After opening up the piece with memories of everything from fielding a phone call as the East Carolina offensive coordinator from Bob Stoops offering the him the Sooners offensive coordinator job to some of his best memories as a coordinator and then head coach in Norman leading one of the most iconic programs in college football, Riley shared that he expected to retire as the head coach at Oklahoma.

However, as the title of his article shares, that big curveball comes occasionally and sometimes it's not one you can watch zip by.

One of the things Lincoln shares in his piece that a lot of coaches who have been through similar situations will be able to relate to is how difficult it was to meet with his AD and then team to share his decision to take another opportunity. 

"I saw the immediate consequences of my decision on the faces of our players," Riley shares in the piece.

Toward the end of the article, Riley did his best to provide some clarity on why he left the Sooners for the Trojans. 

"Since my move, many have asked me why I would leave Oklahoma, and the best — and most honest — answer is that the opportunity at USC was simply the right job at the right time for me and for my family."

"We all have moments in life where we are faced with difficult choices, and this was the path my family and I chose. I don’t expect everyone to understand; in my line of work, that’s not possible."

Coaches that have had to make the tough decision to leave a really good job for a great job they see a lot of potential in will be able to connect with what Lincoln is saying there.

Head over to The Player's Tribune to read the full piece.