If the first two seasons are any indication, the future looks bright for third-year assistant Lincoln Riley. He was in charge of the development of wide receiver Michael Crabtree during his record-breaking season in 2007. Under Riley's watch, the freshman became the first underclassman to win the prestigious Biletnikoff Award.
Riley enjoyed the fruits of his labor as the wide receivers coach, but made the transition to inside receivers last season.
Riley took his talents to the inside receiving group which accounted for 135 receptions and 12 touchdowns. Eric Morris led the charge with 74 receptions and nine touchdowns. The elusive receiver managed 59.3 yards per game.
The inside receivers unit returns Tramain Swindall and Adam James, who accounted for 46 and 15 receptions, respectively, while Swindall also scored twice. Redshirt freshman Cornelius Douglas and walk-on talent Blake Kelley will join the mix in 2009, giving Riley a diverse unit with size and speed.
As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Crabtree amassed 134 receptions, 1,962 yards (98 shy of the NCAA record) and 22 touchdowns under Riley's watch. All three were NCAA freshman records, while the 22 scores tied the most in school history for a single season. Additionally, former Red Raider Danny Amendola provided Tech with a second 100-reception player as the senior grabbed 109 catches for 1,245 yards and six touchdowns. The duo was the first since Jarrett Hicks and Trey Haverty in 2004 to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. Riley also oversaw the emergence of Ed Britton, who caught 48 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns.
No stranger to the program, Riley spent several seasons working in different capacities with the Red and Black, before coming aboard as an assistant. Riley made the trek to Texas Tech from Muleshoe, Texas, in 2002 as a walk-on quarterback. After a year leading the scout team, Riley switched hats and became a student coach, assisting head coach Mike Leach on the offensive side of the ball. He served in that capacity for three seasons while completing his degree, before assuming offensive graduate assistant duties in 2006.
During his four seasons as a student and graduate assistant, Riley had the opportunity to work with some of college football's finest quarterbacks, including single-season NCAA record-setter B.J. Symons in 2003, current Arena League star Sonny Cumbie and Tech's first Cotton Bowl quarterback in 10 seasons, Cody Hodges. In 2006 he saw the emergence of Graham Harrell as one of the top quarterbacks in the country.
Riley has been a part of five bowl game appearances and four bowl victories during his time with Texas Tech. Additionally, the offense has been very productive during Riley's years assisting the explosive system. The quarterbacks won NCAA passing titles in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Riley earned a degree in exercise and sport sciences from Texas Tech in May 2006 and is currently pursuing a master's in interdisciplinary studies. He prepped at Muleshoe High School, where he was an all-region quarterback for the Mules during the 2000-01 seasons.
Riley and his wife, Caitlin, were married in July 2007.