Art Briles confident he’ll coach again despite Baylor scandal
His preference was to return to the college ranks, but seeing that one of those jobs may not be offered now, or ever, Art Briles has agreed to become a high school coach again.
The former Baylor football coach will be the new head football coach at Class 3A Mt. Vernon High School in Mt. Vernon, Texas. He signed a two-year contract.
Mt. Vernon ISD made the announcement on Friday. Mt. Vernon is 130 miles east of Fort Worth.
“We are pleased to welcome Coach Briles back to Texas. He brings with him a wealth of not only football experience, but life experience, “ Mt. Vernon ISD Superintendent Dr. Jason McCullough said in a statement. “He is passionate about investing in the lives of young people and helping them succeed both on the field and in life.”
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.
Briles was fired 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, and Baylor fired him but gave him nearly $18 million on his way out the door.
Despite a number of examples that illustrate the sexual assault problem was not endemic to the football program, his name has been essentially ruined. Although a few programs inquired about his services, no college program would touch him; Southern Miss nearly named him its offensive coordinator this spring before being forced to withdraw the job offer.
There is also the shadow of an NCAA investigation into Baylor and Briles, which should be coming to a close sometime this summer. Sanctions against both are possible.
You can bet that Mt. Vernon ISD will hear about the decision to hire Briles; it is not a coincidence it made this announcement on a Friday afternoon.
Before it all came apart in Waco, he made a name for himself as one of the best coaches in America in turning around a Baylor football program that had been dead for decades. He won at a place where no coach had done much of anything in the modern era other than lose frequently.
His success at Baylor made him wealthy for life, and gave him power at the school he was not even sure he had.
Briles built his original reputation as a great coach on the high school level, specifically at Stephenville where he won multiple state titles.
Briles, 63, coached on the high school level in Texas from 1979 to 1999.
When he left Baylor, his desire was to return to the college level in Texas. With those prospects all but gone, he has returned to high school.