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Oklahoma swipes former Sooner from Ole Miss staff

A month and a half after Shane Beamer left Oklahoma to become South Carolina's head coach, Lincoln Riley has found his replacement.

Joe Jon Finley has left Ole Miss to join his alma mater's staff, Oklahoma announced Tuesday.

Finley will coach H-backs and tight ends while also holding special teams duties, Riley said. He will also hold the title of associate head coach for offense.

The son of a Texas high school football coach, Finley transitioned from quarterback to tight end at OU, where he played from 2004-07, helping the Sooners to three Big 12 titles while collecting honorable mention All-Big 12 honors his final two seasons. After a 5-year NFL career, Finley entered coaching at the Texas high school level before going on to work as as an OU graduate assistant, a quality control coach and operations assistant at Baylor, and then as tight ends coach at Missouri, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.

"We're excited to welcome Joe Jon and his family back to Norman," said Riley. "He obviously had a great playing career and has established himself as one of the top tight end coaches in the country. He's had great experience working for several tremendous programs and I know he's going to bring a lot to ours. We're thrilled to welcome him back and can't wait for him to get started."

Finley is the fourth former Sooner on Riley's staff, joining co-offensive coordinator/inside receivers coach Cale Gundy, running backs coach DeMarco Murray and defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux.

"Oklahoma's my alma mater, it's where I met my wife and where I started my coaching career, so obviously it's a special place to my family," said Finley. "I look forward to working with great coaches, great players and great support from Sooner Nation. I can't thank Joe Castiglione and Coach Riley enough for bringing me back home."

This is the second time this winter Ole Miss has lost an assistant coach to his Big 12 alma mater. Special teams coordinator Blake Gideon left for Texas earlier this month.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.