Art Briles is returning to Texas high school football.
The former Baylor football coach will be the new head football coach at 3A Mount Vernon High School in Mt. Vernon, Texas, which is 130 miles east of Fort Worth. He signed a two-year contract.
Briles is currently coaching an American football team in Florence, Italy.
Until he was hired by that team last year, he had not coached since being fired by Baylor in May 2016 after a number of his players were accused of sexual assault in a rape scandal that engulfed the university. He essentially became the face of the entire scandal.
A few college programs threw his name in the hat, but none would hire him; Southern Miss nearly named him its offensive coordinator this spring before withdrawing the offer.
Briles, 63, coached on the high school level in Texas from 1979 to 1999, which includes winning multiple state titles with Stephenville.
The Star-Telegram reached out the several coaches around the state to get their opinions on the Briles hire, whether it is good for TXHSFB and whether they would play Mt. Vernon in the future. These coaches spoke on the condition of anonymity.
- “I don’t see anything wrong.”
- “I find it odd. There were some pretty good jobs still open.”
- “We need to know all the facts. Let the guy coach. If he was in 4A or 5A, bring it.”
- “Having a coach of Art’s caliber in high school again is good for football and really good for Mount Vernon. I don’t believe it’s a bad look for high school football in Texas. I would play Mount Vernon now.”
- “It’s great for the game.”
- “I think it’s a good thing. There will be some negativity for awhile. Sure, I’d play them. We may never know what happened for sure in Waco. I personally believe he was made to be a scapegoat to an extent. Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. Do I think he should be shunned from the game for life? No.”
- “Honestly, from what I read and understand, he was railroaded. He was part of a much larger problem and he reported it to his superiors. Is it tragic? Of course, on multiple levels. Doesn’t take much guts to say that sexual abuse is horrific. Anyone with a soul would agree. But to brand a fall guy for life with that tag might not be fair. Yes I’d play them and let’s see what he does for the young people of that community.”