Art Briles in 2015

In May 2016, Art Briles was fired as the Baylor Bears’ head coach following a scandal on how the school handled sexual assault claims, many of which involved football players. That scandal led to many other firings (including school president Ken Starr) and resignations (including athletic director Ian McCaw, and Starr from his chancellor role), but Briles’ particular involvement in it (specifically, with court filings showing his texts) means there’s a lot of backlash to any idea of hiring him. And he hasn’t worked in college football since then. But that may be about to change, as per a report from FootballScoop’s Zach Barnett that the FCS Grambling State Tigers (where Hue Jackson is the head coach) are “targeting” Briles (seen above in 2015 with Baylor) as their next offensive coordinator. Here’s more from Barnett’s piece:

Grambling is targeting Art Briles as the program’s next offensive coordinator, sources told FootballScoop on Monday.

A deal is not in place at this time, but the school hopes to make an announcement this week.

Of course, it’s worth noting that targeting Briles doesn’t mean he’ll end up coaching there, especially amidst all the blowback a Briles hire (or even consideration of hiring him) will generate. In 2017, the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats hired him as an offensive assistant coach and initially defended the hire amidst massive public backlash. But that move then was quickly nixed “following a lengthy discussion between the league and the Hamilton organization.”

Briles did coach in Italy in early 2019, and he did serve 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. And his return to the NCAA level in particular would seem ripe for a lot of criticism considering those particular texts showing how he responded to claims against his players. We’ll see if this Grambling move comes to pass or not.

[FootballScoop; photo of Briles by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.