According to ESPN, Oklahoma has “targeted” Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury for the open Sooners job. Kingsbury has one year left on his contract with Arizona and could be in line for an extension as the Cardinals have been one of the best NFL teams this season.
Kingsbury was the head coach at Texas Tech and was let go before the 2019 season. He was set to be offensive coordinator at USC before he jumped to the NFL and took the Cardinals job one month into being at USC. He’s been with the Cardinals since the 2019 season and made an impact by selecting Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick of the 2019 draft.
The decision has helped the Cardinals to a 9-2 record to start the 2021 season.
USC found a big name to replace Clay Helton, who was let go early in the 2021 season. The Trojans had been linked to Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, but Tomlin later shot down any notion he was planning on leaving the NFL.
Riley had previously been linked to NFL jobs and other college football positions. He shot down a rumor on Saturday that he was interested in the LSU job. He said he was “not going to be the next coach at LSU.” He was right at the time but didn’t divulge any plans about going to Los Angeles.
Riley took over as Oklahoma’s head coach before the 2017 season. He led the Sooners to three College Football Playoff appearances but never managed to win a game in the tournament. His teams saw the emergence of two Heisman Trophy winners – Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Both players were No. 1 draft picks.
He was 55-10 as a head coach and won four Big 12 championships.
Oklahoma lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Sooners’ playoff hopes were dashed earlier this month when the team lost to Baylor.