Report: Stoops plans to speak to ECU's Riley about offensive coordinator vacancy
Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting, citing a source, that Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops plans to reach out to East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley regarding UK’s offensive coordinator vacancy.
Tucker’s source said Riley has expressed interest in the position, but wanted to coach out the remainder of ECU’s regular season schedule before pursuing any outside job openings. East Carolina lost its regular season finale to UCF Thursday night to close out an 8-4 season.
It is expected Riley will now begin talking to other schools about current job vacancies. However, according to Tucker and Football Scoop, Kentucky is not the only team pursuing Riley at this time.
@KyleTucker_CJ This is accurate. Kentucky isn’t the only team inquiring about him though…
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 5, 2014
.@FootballScoop Yep. Figure if Stoops wants him, he'll have competition for Riley's services. Hot name.
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) December 5, 2014
Riley, 31, would be an ideal fit for Kentucky’s Air Raid offense, which former offensive coordinator and new Troy head coach Neal Brown brought to the Bluegrass in 2013. Riley, like Brown, is also an Air Raid disciple, spending the early stages of his coaching career as an assistant to former Texas Tech and current Washington State head coach Mike Leach.
This season, Riley’s ECU offense ranked second in the nation in passing with more than 4,400 yards and 29 touchdowns through the air. The Pirates threw 569 passes compared to just 400 runs, resulting in a 59-to-41 pass-run ratio.
For those wondering, Kentucky actually ran the ball 444 times and threw it only 405 times in 2014 as it continues piecing together the proper personnel to run a true Air Raid.
The Wildcats are hoping Riley can aid in the ongoing transition to the Air Raid. His offenses have ranked in the top 20 in the nation in passing four times in the last five years and in the top 20 in the nation in scoring offense three times in that span. East Carolina has also won four games against three power five conference opponents in the last two seasons; Kentucky, which plays nine games against power five conference foes each season, has won just two such games in the last three seasons.
Although a handful of other names have been tied to Kentucky’s vacancy, Riley is the only candidate Tucker’s source could confirm was indeed under consideration.