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Oklahoma hires retired RB DeMarco Murray to staff

DeMarco Murray is headed back to Oklahoma.

The former OU running back, who spent seven seasons in the NFL, has been hired as Lincoln Riley's RBs coach, the university announced Monday.

"This is very surreal," Murray said in a statement. "Obviously I never thought I'd be back coaching at the place where it all started for me. Having the opportunity to come back and be among great coaches and be with some of the people I grew up with is exciting. I'm thankful for the opportunity Coach Riley is giving me and I'm looking forward to being back home.

"Football has always been a passion of mine. I've been fortunate to have had a lot of coaches and friends work with me throughout my career and give me great tools, and I feel like it's only right to give back to young student-athletes. And I love competing at a high level, so the opportunity to come back to coach was important to me. I think I bring the experience of playing at a high level and being in these kids' shoes not 20 or 30 years ago, but just 10 years ago. I think I bring the ability to know offense, know ball and know what it takes from a mental, physical and emotional standpoint to get to the next level. At Oklahoma, so many kids are going to have that opportunity and that's what I'm going to help them strive to achieve."

After setting records at OU, Murray was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent four seasons. In his final year in Dallas, Murray compiled a whopping 392 rushes for 1,845 yards and 13 TDs, earning 2014 Offensive Player of the Year honors. After the heavy workload, the running back lasted just three more seasons, one with the Philadelphia Eagles and two with the Tennessee Titans. Murray was a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro.

Now 31 years old, Murray finished his NFL career with 1,604 carries, 7,174 yards and 91 TDs.

"This is a really exciting day, being able to welcome one of our program's all-time best players back to Norman," Riley said in a statement. "DeMarco had a tremendous playing career both at OU and in the NFL and has a passion for coaching and helping young men grow as players and people. He's got an incredibly bright coaching future and will be an outstanding mentor to our players. I don't think there's anyone better to lead our running backs. Everyone in our program is excited to have DeMarco, his wife Heidi and their children as part of our family."

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