Lincoln Riley Named Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week
Riley receives award after historic comeback win versus No. 13 Baylor
ATLANTA (Nov. 18, 2019) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today announced that Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley has been selected as The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.
The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week award honors a football coach who led his team to a significant victory during the previous week, while also embodying the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
Considering The Dodd Trophy represents more than just a coach’s performance on the field, a coach in his first year, who has not had a full season to establish his own impact on Academic Progress Rate (APR) and the local community, is not eligible to win.
The No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners erased a 25-point deficit against No. 13 Baylor to give the Bears their first loss of the season, escaping McLane Stadium with a 34-31 win.
The 25-point comeback was the largest in Oklahoma program history, and the best against a CFP-ranked team in the playoff era. The Sooners trailed 31-10 at the half, but outgained the Bears 368-69 in the second half to secure the victory and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive. The win represented the first time a team has ever recovered from a 21-point halftime deficit against an FBS opponent who was 9-0 or better.
“Saturday’s game was truly a comeback for the ages,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Coach Dodd would have been proud of Coach Riley’s ability to rally his team in the second half and overcome adversity to win a crucial game for the program.”
Riley is in his third season at Oklahoma after taking over for legendary head coach Bob Stoops before the 2017 season. In his first two years as head coach, he has led the Sooners to two Big 12 championships and berths in the College Football Playoff. He also famously molded back-to-back Heisman trophy winners and No. 1 NFL Draft picks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
He was the youngest head coach in the FBS at the time of his hiring (33) and became the fifth head coach in FBS history to win 12 games in his first season after having no previous head coaching experience. He had served the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Sooners before being hired to take over the program. Since the start of the 2015 season, when Riley took over the offense, the Sooners rank first nationally in points per game (45.3), total offense (559.3), touchdowns from scrimmage (308), pass efficiency (189.5), completion percentage (69.2) and yards per pass attempt (10.7).
While Riley was brought on to continue Oklahoma’s rich football tradition on the field, he has also worked tirelessly to give his student-athletes the best chance to succeed in the classroom. Oklahoma’s Academic Progress Rate currently stands at 966, up 10 points from the previous year.
Since coming to Norman under Bob Stoops, Riley has taken the initiative to learn from Stoops on how to best impact the local community. Riley joined forces with Stoops’ foundation to form the Head Ball Coach Champions Foundation, whose mission is to serve the underprivileged and ill children of the Norman community.
“Coach Riley has filled in the shoes of one of the great coaches of our game’s history and has exceeded every expectation so far,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc. “He’s continued to elevate the program to new heights, both on and off the field, and is creating his own legacy in Norman.”
The Dodd Trophy presented by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a FBS team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2019 season. The winner of the 2019 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during bowl week for this year’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.