Tuesday, 19 January 2021 18:56


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Press Release

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley announced Tuesday the hiring of former Sooner and NFL tight end Joe Jon Finley as associate head coach for offense. Finley will coach tight ends and H-backs and will play a key role in overseeing elements of the Sooners' special teams.

A 2008 OU graduate, Finley returns to Norman after coaching at Mississippi, Texas A&M and Missouri the previous five seasons. He replaces Shane Beamer, who was named head coach at South Carolina in December.

"We're excited to welcome Joe Jon and his family back to Norman," said Riley. "He obviously had a great playing career and has established himself as one of the top tight end coaches in the country. He's had great experience working for several tremendous programs and I know he's going to bring a lot to ours. We're thrilled to welcome him back and can't wait for him to get started."

"He obviously had a great playing career and has established himself as one of the top tight end coaches in the country." Lincoln Riley

Finley served as passing game coordinator and tight ends coach at Ole Miss in 2020, helping the Rebels to one of the best offensive seasons in program history. Ole Miss ranked No. 3 nationally in total offense (555.5 ypg), No. 5 in passing efficiency rating (178.7), No. 7 in passing offense (344.9 ypg), No. 10 in yards per play (7.0), No. 14 in scoring offense (39.2 ppg) and No. 26 in rushing offense (210.6 ypg).

Tight end Kenny Yeboah thrived under Finley's direction this past season, catching 27 passes for 524 yards and six touchdowns in his eight games before getting injured. Yeboah's 19.4 yards per catch led all SEC players and was the ninth-highest average among Power Five players. The Rebels, who also featured quarterback Matt Corral (Manning Award finalist) and wide receiver Elijah Moore (Biletnikoff Award finalist), beat No. 7 Indiana in the Outback Bowl, 26-20.

Finley coached tight ends at Texas A&M during the 2019 campaign, mentoring true freshman tight end Jalen Wydermyer to a strong rookie season. Wydermyer, who earned Freshman All-America honors from multiple outlets, hauled in 32 passes for 447 yards and a team-high six receiving touchdowns.

A native of Arlington, Texas, Finley also spent three seasons at Missouri in the same role prior to joining the Texas A&M coaching staff. During his time with the Tigers, tight ends blossomed under his tutelage. Albert Okwuegbunam, who went on to become a 2020 fourth-round NFL Draft pick by the Denver Broncos, was named a 2018 Mackey Award finalist after catching 43 passes for 466 yards and six touchdowns. In 2017, Okwuegbunam earned second-team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team honors after registering 11 touchdown catches, the highest total by an FBS tight end and most among all freshmen at any position.

Finley's Missouri tight ends caught 15 touchdown passes in 2017, the most among all FBS teams. While their receiving talents were on display, Finley's group played a pivotal role in the Missouri offense gaining just under 200 rushing yards per game. In addition to Okwuegbunam, Finley's former Missouri tight ends Sean Culkin (Baltimore Ravens) and Kendall Blanton (Los Angeles Rams) are in the NFL.

"Oklahoma's my alma mater, it's where I met my wife and where I started my coaching career, so obviously it's a special place to my family," said the 35-year-old Finley. "I look forward to working with great coaches, great players and great support from Sooner Nation. I can't thank (Athletics Director) Joe Castiglione and Coach Riley enough for bringing me back home. Boomer Sooner!"

"I can't thank Joe Castiglione and Coach Riley enough for bringing me back home. Boomer Sooner!" Joe Jon Finley

Finley joined the Mizzou staff after spending the 2015 season as an assistant director of football operations and offensive quality control analyst at Baylor. Prior to his one-year stint in Waco, Finley was the offensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at Los Fresnos High School in south Texas.

He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as an offensive graduate assistant at OU under former head coach Bob Stoops, helping the Sooners advance to the Cotton and Sugar Bowls. He began his coaching career as the offensive line coach at Los Fresnos High School in 2011.

After graduating from Oklahoma in 2008, Finley spent parts of five seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers (2008-10), Detroit Lions (2010-11) and Carolina Panthers (2012).

A standout tight end for the Sooners, Finley was a four-year letterman and a member of Big 12 championship squads in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He earned All-Big 12 honorable mention accolades as a junior and senior. He finished his career with 62 catches, 775 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns in 50 games. His 62 receptions and 775 receiving yards both rank seventh all-time among OU tight ends.

Finley played high school football at Arlington High School under his father, Mickey, from 1999-2002, throwing for 1,626 yards and 12 touchdowns and running for 897 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior quarterback.

Finley and his wife, Caylee, have three daughters (Blakely, Scout and Collier) and a son (Knox).

Years School Position
2021- Oklahoma Associate Head Coach for Offense / TEs & H-Backs
2020 Ole Miss Passing Game Coordinator / Tight Ends
2019 Texas A&M Tight Ends
2016-18 Missouri Tight Ends
2015 Baylor Offensive Quality Control
2014 Los Fresnos HS (Texas) Offensive Line / Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
2012-13 Oklahoma Offensive Graduate Assistant
2011 Los Fresnos HS Offensive Line
2012 Carolina Panthers
2010-11 Detroit Lions
2008-10 San Francisco 49ers
2004-07 Oklahoma
  3x Big 12 Champion
  2x All-Big 12 Honorable Mention

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