The Oklahoma Sooners have ended their search for an offensive coordinator as they’ve decided to promote from within, making Seth Littrell the offensive coordinator and promoting Joe Jon Finley to co-offensive coordinator going forward.
After Jeff Lebby’s departure to take the head coaching job at Mississippi State, Oklahoma was left without a play-caller for the bowl game and heading into their first season in the SEC. However, with an impressive group of analysts and assistant coaches in place in Norman already, the solution to this issue was already in place.
“I’m thrilled to announce two former OU players as our new brain trust on offense,” said Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables. “Seth and Joe Jon are going to make an amazing duo and lead a fantastic group of offensive coaches.
“I love the journey Seth’s been on since he left here as a player following our 2000 national championship. He was one of my favorite players, even though I didn’t coach him directly. I just had so much respect for him — his toughness, his instincts, his attitude, his mindset and his love for everything Oklahoma, thanks in part to his dad playing here. It’s awesome to be able to welcome Seth back in a coaching role. He coached under Mike Leach for four years at Texas Tech and worked with other brilliant offensive minds like Mark Mangino at Kansas, Sonny Dykes at Texas Tech and Arizona, Kevin Wilson at Indiana and Larry Fedora at North Carolina. He was a play-caller for over a decade and worked with some high-level quarterbacks like Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld, Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky, among others, as well as a bunch of other tremendous skill players. Our guys are going to love what he brings to the table every day.
“And I’ve known Joe Jon since he was a 17-year-old quarterback at Arlington (Texas) High School playing for a legendary coach in his dad, Mickey. Football and coaching have been in Joe Jon’s DNA his whole life. He’s got a tremendous offensive mind and his command and leadership of young people is special. He gained great experience at excellent programs, with stops at Baylor, Missouri, Texas A&M and Ole Miss, and has had exposure to some of the best offensive minds in college football. I really love what he is all about, with his offensive philosophy and the toughness he brings to the facility every day. He’s one of the best teachers and motivators I’ve been around. He’s incredibly bright and our players are going to love him in his enhanced role. He knows our system inside and out and he’s going to be a great head coach in the near future. He passed up on opportunities to be the sole coordinator at other programs because he wanted to do this at his alma mater. OU means so much to him. I’m incredibly grateful for his commitment and his decision to continue his coaching career here at OU in this elevated role.”
Seth Littrell has a history of success as a play caller starting with Arizona back in 2011, plus stops at Indiana (2012-13) and North Carolina (2014-15). Then, Littrell took the head coaching gig at North Texas (2016-22) and turned the Mean Green into an offensive powerhouse with quarterback Mason Fine. Littrell was fired after a 7-6 season in 2022 and became an analyst at Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, Joe Jon Finley has been serving as an associate head coach and tight ends coach at Oklahoma since 2021 and is somebody who is intimately familiar with Jeff Lebby’s offensive scheme. Finley served as the passing game coordinator and tight ends coach under Lebby at Ole Miss in 2020 before following him to Norman in 2021. This move by the Sooners to make him a Co-OC likely means that there will be some similarities in offensive philosophy for OU going forward.
Oklahoma is being projected to the Alamo Bowl against Arizona to end their season, but there is still an outside chance that the Sooners could sneak into a New Year’s Six bowl if things fall their way in the final rankings.