There have already been lots of interesting names associated with the forthcoming job opening at Missouri, but a national writer added two more to the group Monday night.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports wrote about 51 coaches to watch during the offseason carousel, and a couple were named as potential replacements for Gary Pinkel, who will step down after the season to focus on his health.
Feldman mentioned Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as potential successors for Pinkel.
Riley, 31, is a rising star in the coaching business. He’s in his first year at Oklahoma after developing a high-flying offense at East Carolina before that. The Sooners are national title contenders, and quarterback Baker Mayfield has become a Heisman Trophy candidate under Riley’s tutelage.
He also has Texas roots, which is appealing for Missouri. Riley grew up in Lubbock, Texas, went to Texas Tech and coached there. He’s an “Air Raid” protege from the Mike Leach coaching tree, so freshman quarterback Drew Lock would probably be excited to work with him.
Venables, 44, was like Riley a few years ago, one of the hottest young assistant coaches in the country. He still hasn’t gotten a chance to be a head coach, but he’s leading one of the best defenses in the nation and Clemson is ranked No. 1.
He is from Kansas and went to Kansas State. Venables also coached at Kansas State and Oklahoma, so he has plenty of ties to the region.
Among the top names mentioned with the Missouri job to this point have been the top young head coaches, like Houston’s Tom Herman, Memphis’ Justin Fuente and Toledo’s Matt Campbell.
Feldman also named Cal coach Sonny Dykes, Temple’s Matt Rhule, Bowling Green’s Dino Babers, Air Force’s Troy Calhoun and Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm as other names who could end up in the mix at Missouri.
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