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Lincoln Riley: Quarterback Whisperer, Back-to-back Big 12 champion, Head coach of the OU Sooners
Legendary University of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops shook the college football world in 2017 when he handpicked Lincoln Riley to be his successor at the perennial powerhouse. At age thirty-three. In his first three seasons at Oklahoma, Riley’s teams dominated the Big 12 to reach the national semifinals each year, and two of his quarterbacks—Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray—won the Heisman Trophy and were No. 1 overall picks by the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals in the NFL draft.
In Sooner, Brandon Sneed charts Riley’s remarkable ascent from small-town star quarterback in West Texas, to walk-on turned assistant coach at Texas Tech, where he learned the revolutionary Air Raid system from Mike Leach, to offensive coordinator at East Carolina, to football titan Oklahoma. It takes more than sheer talent to go toe to toe with the brilliant strategists of the modern game—like The University of Alabama’s Nick Saban, University of Texas’s Tom Herman, and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer—and Sneed shows how this wunderkind’s commitment, grit, relationships, pain, brains, and passion have empowered him to compete. And win.
More important than the zealous fans, the intense rivalries, and the multimillion-dollar contracts, are the human connections that lie at the heart of Lincoln Riley’s triumphs as a coach. Sooner is not only the story of a mastermind in the making, but also a reminder of the many people who make each of us who we are.