After a wild turn of events this weekend, it looks like Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is officially leaving the Sooners and is headed to USC.
With the news regarding Riley’s departure, Oklahoma will now be entrenched in a coaching search just a few years before their move to the SEC.
While there has only been speculation around Oklahoma’s next head coach, it is worth noting that current Tennessee head coach, Josh Heupel, is an Oklahoma alum. Not only that, but he was the quarterback of the Sooners’ 2000 National Championship team.
Josh Heupel was the quarterback for Oklahoma in 1999 and 2000. As a college player with the Sooners, Heupel was a consensus All-American and a Heisman Trophy runner up in 2000. Additionally, in the same year, Heupel was named the Quarterback of the Year, AP Player of the Year, was on the First Team All-Big 12 team and was the Walter Camp and Archie Griffin award selection.
After his playing career and a short stint in the NFL, Heupel returned to Oklahoma as a graduate assistant in 2004. Heupel was then Arizona’s tight ends coach in 2005 but would return to Norman once again the following year. Heupel was Oklahoma’s quarterback’s coach from 2006-2010, and then became the Sooner’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2011 to 2014.
However, Heupel was fired by Oklahoma after the 2014 season.
In Josh Heupel’s first year at Tennessee, he has led the Vols to a 7-5 record, and their second bowl appearance in the last five years.
As mentioned by RTI’s Ryan Schumpert on Twitter, Josh Heupel’s Tennessee buyout is currently set at eight million dollars.
There has been considerable speculation around the Sooners’ coaching hotlist, ranging from Bob Stoops to the NFL’s Kliff Kingsbury. Although, the rumors have already begun to swirl around the impact that Oklahoma’s coaching search could have on the SEC, tying in names such as Lane Kiffin and Josh Heupel.
I would be surprised if Josh Heupel is the next coach at Oklahoma.
If he were to leave, his buyout is $8 million.
— Ryan Schumpert (@rschump00) November 28, 2021