The old saying of “time heals all wounds” apparently does not apply to Art Briles. The former Baylor head football coach remains toxic as ever, despite being fired by the university nearly 15 months ago. Granted, what Briles is accused of letting slide and try to cover up during his time at Baylor is a disgrace, but even I’m a little surprised given the second chances that great coaches and players often receive, along with our being a very forgiving, and sometimes too forgetful society.
As the college football season approaches, the Sun Sentinel in Florida wrote a piece about the upcoming FAU season. Lane Kiffin is the head coach and Art’s son and former Baylor offensive coordinator, Kendal Briles, is the OC for Kiffin.
Both brought up that Art Briles has been helping out with the Owls’ offense:
“Obviously, he has ideas,” Kendal said. “He wants to know personnel and different guys and making sure we’re getting those guys in the right spots and getting them touches and all that stuff. He’s a football coach, that’s all he’s ever been. He’s definitely involved and we talk daily.”
Kendal said he’s sent film to Art before to help with the FAU offense. On Monday, Kiffin said he’s spoken with Art a couple times.
“Obviously, he’s done unbelievable things on offense,” Kiffin said. “It’s his system that he started years and years ago. Every once in a while, I’ll text or call him and bounce something off of him.”
Predictably, Deadspin absolutely killed Kiffin and both Briles for this part of the story.
Are they wrong to rip Briles for his questionable character and the way he handled some of the hands dealt to him in Waco? Hell no. But the idea that a son can’t call his father for some guidance about his job is absurd.
In a Utopia, what would Deadspin like to have happen? Have Kendal Briles excommunicate his father from his life all together? All the Briles boys know is football, specifically the offensive side of the ball. I’m not going to pretend what a rough and tumble year and a half it’s been for the Briles family (yes, I realize it’s been infinitely worse for many victims), but I’m not going to sit on my high horse and tell Kendal Briles he can give his father a phone call and ask him advice about a couple of plays. But I guess my moral compass is not nearly as impressive as the folks at Deadspin.
The most important part of this story is the fact that Art Briles is not on FAU’s payroll. That’s a good thing, as hiring Briles right now would be a boneheaded move by any program on any level. The wounds are still too raw, rightfully so.
But the outrage over this story tells me there is no way Art Briles is anywhere close to getting a head coaching job at the college level. No President or Athletic Director is going to put their careers on the line for him right now. And frankly, I still think we are a couple years away from anyone even considering it.
Briles is going to be 62 years old this December. His best bet is to try and find a job with an NFL team. It might have to even start as something like a quarterbacks coach or even a quality control coach, who spends most of his time breaking down film and analyzing data. Briles has more than enough money in the bank to live his life out very well, does he want to go back to that grind that is reserved for guys in their 20’s and 30’s? I find it highly unlikely.
But this would at least allow him to get back into the game and the stigma of hiring Art Briles would begin to wear off over time, if he were already on an NFL staff. But given the outrage from Deadspin and others over this fairly harmless article in the Sun Sentinel, I just can’t see Briles being employable any time soon.
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