Bob Stoops’ exit from Oklahoma was the biggest coaching change in college football this offseason, and Lincoln Riley wants everyone to know that he is going to be himself rather than the second coming of his predecessor.
When fielding questions at Big 12 Media Days on Monday, Riley had a number of positive things to say about Stoops’ impact on him. However, he stressed his desire to avoid falling into the trap of emulating the legendary Sooners head coach.
“That’s probably the biggest and, in my opinion, best piece of coaching advice that I’ve gotten since this has happened. That will be one of my challenges is to find a way to still be myself but not discount all the lessons from him and the other guys that I’ve worked for and with over the past several years,” Riley said.
“But that’s something I’m comfortable with. I’m comfortable with myself and being myself. I don’t have an ego in this, and say, well, I’ve got to change things just because I’m the head coach, and I don’t want to seem like I’m just trying to be Bob Stoops 2.0 or whatever you want to call it. I want to use the things I think are right, and if there’s a few things I think fit my personality better or can help us as a team, then I’m certainly not going to hesitate to do those either.”
But that doesn’t mean that he will hesitate to seek out Stoops’ expertise when the situation calls for it.
“I’ll definitely use his counsel,” Riley said. “I think, both with Bob and with Coach Switzer, you’ve got two guys there that have done it as high level as anybody has done it, obviously both at Oklahoma, and guys that are ready and willing at any point, which I’m thankful for.”
Riley became the youngest head coach currently at a Power-5 program when he was hired to replace Stoops.
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Source: The Score