Big 12 News

Report: Texas Tech Support Growing to Hire Art Briles

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor

The 2020 college football coaching carousel is expected to be quieter than usual due to COVID-19 crushing budgets across the country. But in Lubbock, Texas, that may not matter.

According to a new report from Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, there is growing support for the Texas Tech Red Raiders to move on from Matt Wells and make a run at Art Briles.

Engel reports:

According to a source, support to hire former Baylor coach Art Briles is growing within the Tech community… An outside law firm conducted its own investigation of the now Mount Vernon High School coach, and a source said the report was sent to members of the Texas Tech board of regents on Thursday morning.”

In Wells’ first two seasons in Lubbock, the Red Raiders have finished 4-8, and 4-6. The Red Raiders had an embarrassing performance in their win to end the season last week, when they snuck by the winless Kansas Jayhawks 16-13 at home.

 

The problem for Texas Tech, and good news for Wells, is that he would be very expensive to fire. He has a $9 million buyout. And while Tech has big boosters, this is a big ticket to justify for any program, sans Texas, Alabama or the other blue bloods. But with that being said, Engel reports there is a group of boosters who would pony up the money.

Briles has essentially been blackballed from coaching college football since the sexual assault scandal broke with the Baylor Bears over four years ago. In 2019, Briles was coaching high school football in Texas.

But his roots certainly run deep in that part of the world. Briles spent basically his entire career in the Lone Star State. He’s from West Texas and played and graduated from Texas Tech. His first college job was as the running backs coach for Mike Leach from 2000 to 2002.

Athletic directo Kirby Hocutt finds himself in a tough spot. He’s made home run hires in basketball with Chris Beard and baseball with Tim Tadlock. But the Wells hire has not worked out and there is no obvious sign of things improving in the near future.

Plus, it’s been a rough half a decade for Texas Tech. Frankly, it’s been tough for the program since Mike Leach was asked to leave down.

Texas Tech’s last winning season was a 7-6 campaign in 2015 with former head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

But as Kirby Hocutt knows, Tech fans, as would all fan bases, would trade their baseball and basketball titles for football success. So what’s next? We’ll see.

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