This quote from Lincoln Riley explains why he’s the hottest coaching commodity

To what does 32-year-old Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley credit for his meteoric coaching rise? Luck, at least in part.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is arguably the fastest rising star in college football coaching. The 32-year-old Texan has sparked the Sooners’ run to the College Football Playoff in his first season under Bob Stoops after an impressive run as East Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Earlier this month, Riley won the Broyles Award, honoring the nation’s top assistant. 

Sources say he has bypassed at least a half-dozen coaching opportunities, including a couple of FBS head coaching jobs.

On Monday, at the Orange Bowl media session, Riley was asked to comment on his fast rise in coaching. He explained that it had to do with being around "really, really good people" — good coaches and being raised by good parents, and he added that he’d also been lucky too.

From there, I thought Riley gave a heck of an answer about exactly how luck has benefitted his career:

"A lot of places. I got lucky that Mike Leach was crazy enough to hire me when I was 23 years old. I got lucky that honestly the whole thing went down when he got let go at Texas Tech and got a chance to call that game and kind of get an opportunity to show what we could do. Got lucky that (former ECU QB) Shane Carden decided to come to East Carolina and (ECU WR) Justin Hardy decided to walk on. Got lucky that (Oklahoma wide receiver) Sterling Shepard stayed in school, that (running back) Samaje Perine’s not selfish, that (center) Ty Darlington is the smartest person in the room, that Bob Stoops wanted to take a chance on me and lived up to every word of everything that he promised me. I could go on and on about that for a while."

It’s a perspective like this — in addition to the fact that his offense is averaging 45 points and 543 yards a game — why Riley is so well-regarded in the coaching world.