12:16 PM ET
Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer
- Senior college football writer
- Author of seven books on college football
- Graduate of the University of Georgia
Republican Senator Bill Coleman of Ponca City proposed a bill on Tuesday that would rename 3 inches of a westbound lane of State Highway 325 in the panhandle as “Lincoln Riley Highway.”
“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,” Coleman said in a news release. “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. This is only fitting as this is the last three inches one sees before leaving our great state heading west.”
Riley guided the Sooners to four consecutive Big 12 titles and three College Football Playoff appearances in his first four seasons. He departed for USC the day after a 37-33 loss at Oklahoma State on Nov. 27, which knocked the Sooners out of the Big 12 title game.
“While we are all free to pursue employment elsewhere, there is a level of professionalism that is expected to be adhered to,” Coleman said. “From all indications, professionalism was pretty much absent in how this departure was executed.”
According to the release, the bill will be considered by the Senate in its next session that convenes on Feb. 7. If it becomes law, Coleman, a radio broadcaster and owner of a handful of stations, will pay for the signage.