Just over a week ago, Lincoln Riley packed his bags and left Norman, Okla., for Los Angeles. An Oklahoma state senator is looking to make sure he is remembered for his journey to the West.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma legislature announced a proposed bill from Sen. Bill Coleman asking that the last three inches of State Highway 325’s westbound lane in the panhandle of the state be named the “Lincoln Riley Highway,” The Oklahoman’s Carmen Forman reported.
“I felt the State of Oklahoma needed an appropriate goodbye to this former head coach whose sudden departure left many in shock, including a team of young, dedicated college players. I found the tiniest section of our most desolate of highways to pay tribute to Coach Riley’s exit from Oklahoma football and the state,” Coleman said in the release. “This is only fitting as this is the last three inches one sees before leaving our great state heading west.”
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The release said that Coleman would pay for any signage for the stretch. The bill could be made into law on Feb. 7.
According to Google Maps, this is the stretch where would-be drivers would — briefly — hit the “Lincoln Riley Highway” before driving into New Mexico.
“While we are all free to pursue employment elsewhere, there is a level of professionalism that is expected to be adhered to,” Coleman said in the release. “From all indications, professionalism was pretty much absent in how this departure was executed.”
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Riley’s abrupt departure from Oklahoma shocked Sooners fans and the college football world alike. Riley had been the handpicked successor for the football program by former coach Bob Stoops, under whom Riley was the offensive coordinator for two seasons. At the helm of the program, he went 55-10 and led the team to three College Football Playoff appearances and four Big 12 titles.
The day after losing to rival Oklahoma State, preventing the Sooners from competing for another conference championship, Riley reportedly accepted the job at USC.
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Riley’s announced departure also came the day after he dispelled rumors that he would be pursuing the head coaching job at LSU.