Art Briles Named Baylor's 25th Head Football Coach
Nov. 28, 2007
WACO, Texas - Art Briles, a native West Texan who resurrected the University of Houston's football program during his five seasons along the Cougars' sideline, was introduced as Baylor University's 25th head football coach Wednesday evening at a press conference in the Galloway Suite at Floyd Casey Stadium.
"My charge to Director of Athletics Ian McCaw was to locate a championship caliber head football coach who embraced Baylor's Christian mission, and could lead, inspire and win with integrity," said Baylor President Dr. John M. Lilley. "Ian has done an outstanding job and brings forward in Art Briles a person who can begin a new era for Baylor University football."
Briles, who inherited a Houston program that was just two years removed from an 0-11 season and won just eight games from 2000 to 2003, posted a 34-28 record with the Cougars and guided his alma mater to four bowl games. He ranks as the program's third-winningest head coach behind College Football Hall of Famer Bill Yeoman (160 wins in 26 seasons from 1962-86) and Clyde Lee (37 victories in seven season from 1948-54).
"Art Briles embodies all of the qualities that we seek in our head football coach," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "He is a Godly man who believes in the Christian mission of the institution, and demonstrates great personal character, integrity and commitment to education.
"Coach Briles is regarded as one of the top head coaches and offensive minds in college football as evidenced by Houston's record-setting offense," he added. "He is a relentless recruiter who may have as strong a set of recruiting contacts in the State of Texas as any coach in the country. Finally, he is a genuine and engaging person who will relate well to the Baylor family and generate enthusiasm around our football program."
Houston, which ended its 2007 regular season with Saturday's 59-6 victory over Texas Southern, takes an 8-4 record into the Dec. 28 Texas Bowl against a Big 12 opponent to be determined. Coupled with their 10-win 2006 campaign, the Cougars registered consecutive seasons of at least eight victories for the first time since the 1989 (9) and 1990 (10) campaigns.
In 2006, Briles earned Conference USA and Sportexe Division I-A National Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Cougars to a Conference USA title, a Liberty Bowl appearance and the program's first 10-win season since 1990 with a final mark of 10-4.
The Cougars enjoyed the nation's seventh-best turnaround in 2006, a four-game improvement in the win column over their 6-6 mark in 2005. Houston's 2006 C-USA title, just five years removed from a winless 2001 campaign, marked only the fifth time in the past 30 seasons that a I-A program went from winless to conference champions.
One of nine finalists for the 2006 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award, Briles' offense led Conference USA and ranked sixth nationally at 439.9 yards per game. Cougar quarterback Kevin Kolb was Conference USA's consensus 2006 Offensive Player of the Year, as 13 Houston student-athletes earned postseason honors from the media and 12 were honored by the league's coaches. Kolb ended his career ranked third in NCAA history for total offense and fourth in passing yards.
Briles' 2005 Cougar team finished 6-6 overall, led Conference USA in total offense and played in the Fort Worth Bowl, while his 2004 squad was 3-8.
His rookie season at UH saw the Cougars make school history; as they finished 7-6 and earned a berth in the 2003 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. He became just the second UH head coach to take Houston to a bowl game in his first season at the helm, joining Yeoman, his college coach. Briles' innovative offense produced a 1,000-yard rusher (Anthony Evans), a 1,000-yard receiver (Brandon Middleton) and a 3,000-yard passer (Kolb)--one of only five Division I-A teams to post such outstanding performers.
Briles returned to his alma mater as head coach from Texas Tech University, where he spent three years (2000-02) as the Red Raiders' running backs coach. The Tech ground game flourished under Briles' direction, increasing its production every year and producing a 2001 first-team All-Big 12 performer in Ricky Williams. The Red Raiders won seven or more games each year Briles was on Mike Leach's staff and went bowling every year.
Prior to moving into the collegiate coaching ranks at Texas Tech, Briles spent 12 seasons (1986-99) as head coach and athletic director at Stephenville [Texas] High School. His Yellowjacket teams won four state championships, including back-to-back crowns in 1998 and 1999.
Briles, a former Texas High School Coaches Association president, has spent his entire coaching career in the state of Texas. Following in his father's footsteps, Briles began his coaching career as an assistant at Sundown [Texas] High School in 1979 before moving to Sweetwater [Texas] High School as an assistant from 1980-83. He landed his first head coaching job at Hamlin [Texas] High School (1984-86), where he also served as athletic director.
From Hamlin, Briles went to Georgetown [Texas] High School as head coach and athletic director for two seasons (1986-87) before moving to Stephenville in 1988. While coaching in the high school ranks, Briles developed six Division I quarterbacks and had five signal callers throw for over 3,000 yards in a season.
A former wide receiver for the Cougars from 1974 to 1977, Briles was a member of the 1976 Cougar squad that captured the Southwest Conference championship in UH's first season in the league. He later played in the 1977 Cotton Bowl against fifth-ranked Maryland, a game the Cougars won 30-21.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech in 1979 and a Masters of Education degree from Abilene Christian in 1984.
A recent inductee into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame for his West Texas exploits, Briles and his wife, Jan, have three children: Jancy, a graduate of the University of Houston who now works in the Dallas Cowboys Public Relations office; Kendal, a former quarterback and wide receiver on the Cougar squad (2004-05) and a University of Houston graduate; and Staley, a senior at UH.
Briles replaces Guy Morriss, who was 18-40 overall and 7-33 in the Big 12 in five seasons coaching the Bears from 2003 to 2007.
The Briles File
DIVISION I-A Postseason Experience
The Briles Worksheet
#-Hawai'i Bowl; $-Fort Worth Bowl; ^-Liberty Bowl; @-Texas Bowl.
What Others Say About Art Briles
Dr. John M. Lilley,
"We are very fortunate to have been able to recruit him to Baylor to lead our football program forward. He has a brilliant vision and plan for Baylor football that will lead us to bowl games and championships in the years to come."
"Coach Briles will bring a much-needed connection to the Texas High School Coaches Association to Baylor and he is an outstanding offensive football coach."
Dr. Ed Young,
"Coach Briles is a genuine, humble man with a gift for inspiring and leading student athletes. He is involved athletically, academically, and spiritually with his players and coaches. Wherever he is, he makes a difference.
"I do not think Baylor could have made a better choice."