Lincoln Riley issued a statement on Sunday following official news that USC had hired him as their next head coach.

Riley will depart Oklahoma after 5 seasons, with the Sooners scheduled to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025.

“Leaving OU was probably the most difficult decision of my life,” Riley said. “OU is one of the best college football programs in the country, and it has been forever. That’s not going to chance. It’s not going to change in the SEC, it’s not going to change with another head coach. It’s stood the test of time and it’s going to continue to do so. This was a personal decision solely based on my willingness to go take on a new challenge, and I felt like it was the right opportunity for me and my family to do that.”

Riley’s final mark in Norman is 55-10, with a 37-7 record in the Big 12. The Sooners made 3 straight Collge Football Playoff appearances from 2017-2019 during his tenure.