Nearly five months after his stunning decision to leave Oklahoma for USC, Lincoln Riley has penned an open letter to Sooners fans in the Players' Tribune explaining his decision to leave the storied Big 12 program for the West Coast. After sharing several of his best memories from his seven years in Norman -- including the last five as head coach -- Riley wrote of the "unexpected" opportunity that coaching the Trojans afforded.
"As much as my family and I loved Norman and cherished the success we were having on the field, sometimes life throws you curveballs at the most unexpected times," wrote Riley. "Honestly, I always figured I would end my coaching career at OU. But when my agent called me to pass along interest from USC, I was immediately intrigued by the possibilities"
Riley claimed that he jumped on a Zoom call with USC officials and made his decision quickly. News broke of his departure the morning after the Sooners' loss to rival Oklahoma State in November to miss out on the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time since it was reintroduced in 2017. In that postgame press conference, Riley said that he would not take the open job at LSU; in hindsight, his wording was important.