College Sports

Spurrier sees a lot of himself in the new Oklahoma head coach

Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier walks with NFL great Peyton Manning prior to the start of the National Championship game this past January.
Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier walks with NFL great Peyton Manning prior to the start of the National Championship game this past January. gmelendez@thestate.com

Former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is a fan of the new Oklahoma head football coach.

After hearing talk on the radio that Lincoln Riley, 33, should give up play-calling as the new Sooners head coach, Spurrier called into SiriusXM College Sports Nation to share his thoughts.

Riley, the former offensive coordinator, has said he will continue to run the offense and call the plays after being promoted to replace Bob Stoops, who retired.

“Why in the world do you think he got hired?” Spurrier said of Riley. “Why did (athletics director) Joe Castiglione hire Lincoln to be the head coach? Because what he does best is get the ball going up and down the field with regularity, scoring touchdowns and helping Oklahoma win. That’s why he got hired.”

Spurrier said that was why he got his first head-coaching job at Duke.

“It reminds me of 1987, I got hired at Duke University,’ Spurrier said. “Tom Butters said, ‘You know why we’re hiring you, don’t ya?’ Well, I’m supposed to win, right? (He said), ‘We want the ball going up and down the field, and we want to score touchdowns and we want to win. We’re not hiring you for your good looks or your ability to recruit or your organization skill or the way you talk to the fans or media. We want offense and we want wins.’

“I said, yes sir, I understand why I got hired. And that’s why Lincoln got hired. They want offense, and they want wins,” the HBC said.

“Lincoln’s specialty is offense. You have to do what you do best to help your team. I think he will continue calling the plays and running the offense. That’s why he’s the head coach right now.”

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