All you who were damn sure a Riley would be coaching in Dallas in 2020, come collect your winnings. SMU has announced Garrett Riley, Lincoln’s younger brother, as its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“I think he’s a really good fit,” head Mustang Sonny Dykes said of Riley. “He’s comfortable teaching our system of play, particularly in the passing game. One of the things that intrigued me about him was the success that Appalachian State had running the ball and the unique ways they did so.
“He also has a great history recruiting in this area. He knows the coaches and he knows the players. He even knew a lot of things about our current players when we sat down and talked.”
Riley coached running backs for Appalachian State in 2019 but did not join Eli Drinkwitz in the conga line from Boone to Mizzou. That’s despite Riley helping Mountaineer running back Darrynton Evans win Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year honors after registering 1,740 all-purpose yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He’ll now have to help Shane Buechele improve upon a season in which he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 34 touchdowns.
He’ll replace Rhett Lashlee, who left for a similar job at Miami.
Garrett started his career ahead of Lincoln, playing at Texas Tech whereas Lincoln just coached as an undergraduate. He then moved on to Stephen F. Austin before joining the coaching profession as an assistant in the Texas high school ranks. He worked under big brother at East Carolina before spending 2016-18 at Kansas.
In conjunction with the move, SMU has elevated offensive line coach AJ Ricker to co-offensive coordinator.