Report: SMU hires Garrett Riley as offensive coordinator

By Shane Roper

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SMU football has hired recent App State running backs coach Garrett Riley as offensive coordinator, according to a report from ESPN

Riley replaces Rhett Lashlee, who left SMU to take the offensive coordinator position at Miami. He is the younger brother of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley. The younger Riley was promoted to offensive coordinator under new head coach Shawn Clark.

Then-App State coach Eli Drinkwitz gave Riley an opportunity to coach running backs. He helped lead the Mountaineers to a top 40 offense and one of the best seasons in program history. App State finished 13-1 and No. 20 overall in the College Football Playoff rankings. 

Under Riley's tutelage, running back Darrynton Evans rushed for 1,480 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading a strong App State offense. 

Before App State, Riley worked at Kansas as quarterbacks coach, tight ends/fullbacks coach and an offensive analyst. He also worked as an offensive assistant at East Carolina when Lincoln Riley was offensive coordinator.

Riley played quarterback under Mike Leach at Texas Tech and later transferred to Stephen F. Austin, where he led the Lumberjacks to a Southland Conference title. 

He takes over an SMU offense that dominated the AAC a year ago. Star quarterback Shane Buechele, wide receiver Reggie Robinson and tight end Kylen Granson are among the top players back. 

SMU coach Sonny Dykes has been forward about promoting young assistants. Both Lashlee and defensive coordinator Kevin Kane were well under 40 when Dykes brought them aboard. He let both have impressive reign to run their units. In Riley, Dykes is once again deferring to a rising coach. 

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