WACO, TX – OCTOBER 11: Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears looks on as the Bears prepare to take on the TCU Horned Frogs at McLane Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

There is perhaps no one in the college football world more radioactive than Art Briles. The former Baylor Bears coach who helped cover up sexual assault and rape allegations while there has been persona non grata in most football circles since he was fired from that job. However, because he won a lot of football games, there are always going to be people more than happy to overlook his moral failings for a few more victories.

Briles has had a few gigs over the years, including an extremely brief stint in the CFL that was met with extremely negative reactions. Every time he’d pop up in the news, a fresh round of backlash would seemingly push him back into the shadows. Briles also coached in Italy in early 2019 and served as head coach at Texas’ Mount Vernon High School for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but he resigned after their 2020 season and hasn’t coached since.

However, when reports started coming out that the FCS Grambling State Tigers were “targeting” Briles as their next offensive coordinator, it felt like this might finally be the “comeback” that sticks. Head coach Hue Jackson, who made infamous headlines a few weeks back when he implied he was paid to lose while with the Cleveland Browns (a claim he later backtracked on), might have felt the need to keep up with other surging FCS programs like Jackson State.

While many hoped that cooler heads might prevail, it appears that Grambling has indeed found their guy, for better or worse. Word trickled out on Thursday that Briles was indeed the school’s new OC. Curiously, or perhaps cowardly, the school said they would not be making any statements or holding any press conferences to introduce Briles. Instead, he will do a sit-down interview with a local TV station and everyone involved will apparently hope that’s that.

The move itself is worthy of a lot of questioning, given what Briles has been accused of and proven to have done. It’s the kind of hiring that requires people in places of power to answer for their decisions and how they came to them. And the fact that the school is trying to push this announcement out as a literal war is dominating the news cycle seems to say everything about the lack of accountability involved, which is what got Art Briles in this mess in the first place.

There were some very serious and strong reactions to the decision on social media.


We’ll see what Briles has to say for himself later but, frankly, no one is expecting much from him or Grambling at this point.

[Chris Vannini]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.