Norman - With the surprising news that Bob Stoops is retiring as OU's head football coach after 18 years, offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley will step in as Stoops' successor. 

"I'm sincerely honored to be given this opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma," Riley said via a University press release. "I want to thank Coach Stoops for bringing me here two years ago and making me part of the Sooner family. He is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, at any level. I'm absolutely thankful for our friendship and for the mentorship he has provided." 

Riley has been the Sooners' offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, leading Oklahoma to consecutive Big 12 Championships and a College Football Playoff bid in 2015. 

"Coaching at Oklahoma is a dream come true for me and my family. I am extremely grateful to President Boren, Joe Castiglione, Chairman Bennett and the OU Board of Regents for believing in me and affording me this opportunity. I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that Coach Stoops and so many others before him have instilled in this great program."

Riley came to OU after five seasons at East Carolina, where the Pirates set more than 50 team or individual school offensive records over that span. 

"I am thrilled that Lincoln Riley is in position to take over as the head coach," Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione said. "He is widely regarded as one of the brightest minds in college football and there is no question in my mind that he is the complete package. Our program is in very good hands. Lincoln and I have a great relationship and I can't wait to embark on this new era with him."