It was announced last week that Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops was retiring, and Sooner offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley would step into his spot as head coach. At 33, Riley is the youngest head football coach in FBS. But just because he’s young doesn’t mean he isn’t experienced.
Riley is one of many current college coaches to branch off the Mike Leach coaching tree. Alongside names like Art Briles, Sonny Dykes and Dana Holgorsen, Riley started his career coaching as an assistant under Mike Leach at Texas Tech. Riley started working with Leach as a student assistant in 2003, but before that he played for him as a walk on quarterback in 2002 under Kliff Kingsbury.
On Tuesday, Riley went on the Doug Gottlieb radio show on Fox Sports Radio to talk about his relationship with Leach and, specifically, the walk-on’s first meeting with the head coach in his freshman year — And it was a quintessential Mike Leach meeting. You can listen to the segment here, or read below for some of the highlights from the conversation.
I was thinking this is going to be an incredibly profound football meeting. I get in there the first day and he puts in a dip. You know, I’m from Muleshoe, Texas so I’ve seen a guy put in a dip before. But he puts in the biggest dip of any human being I’ve ever seen. So I’m kind of sitting there with my eyes wide open.
So he starts talking to us, and he talks to us about dip, about the different kinds... If you’ve talked to Mike, you know he has a pretty crazy point of view on everything. Well the entire meeting goes by, it’s like an hour and a half, and I would say probably about an hour and 25 minutes were devoted to dip. I go out there on the first practice thinking, ‘what is going on here? This is crazy.’
So a bright eyed young walk-on goes to his first football meeting with his coach before his first ever practice... And talks about the sport for 5 minutes of a 90 minute meeting.
Riley would eventually adjust to Leach’s ‘unique’ ways of coaching and work with him for seven seasons, eventually becoming Leach’s inside receivers coach in 2008.
Also, in case your curious, Gottlieb asked the hard hitting questions in this one. Thanks to some investigative reporting, we now know that, at least at that point in time, Leach was a Copenhagen man. Gottlieb went on to try and figure out which singer once sang a song about Copenhagen, which Riley artfully dodged.
Gottlieb: What’s the singer that sings a song about Copenhagen?
Riley: Yeah... Exactly. There we go.
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