Big 12 News

Kirby Hocutt on Possibility of Hiring Art Briles: It ‘Would Be Very Divisive and Problematic’

NCAA Football: Baylor at Kansas

The Texas Tech football program was shaken up on Monday when the University fired head coach Matt Wells. Wells was in Year 3 in the job and was coming off a tough loss to Kansas State in a game the Red Raiders had led 14-0 and 21-7 before losing 25-24. Wells went 13-17 in his nearly three seasons on the job in Lubbock.

But now the question becomes: Who will Texas Tech hire?

One name that continues to pop up is former Baylor head coach Art Briles. However, when asked about the possibility of Briles going to Texas Tech, athletic director Kirby Hocutt said, “I don’t want to speculate on candidates. I don’t want to talk about individuals today. I think that would be very divisive and problematic, and not something we’d talk about at this time.”

 

After a lengthy high school career, Briles got his college coaching break at Texas Tech where he was the running backs coach from 2000 to 2002 under Mike Leach. He then left to become the head coach of the Houston Cougars from 2002 to 2007, which then led to him taking the Baylor job starting with the 2008 season.

There were reports last year that influential people at Tech wanted Wells out after Year 2 in favor of Briles, but obviously that never came to fruition. But it appears as if that same group is at it again, but at least for now, the people in charge of the hiring have not seriously considered him.

Briles has essentially been blackballed from coaching college football since the sexual assault scandal broke with the Baylor Bears over five years ago. Most recently, Briles was coaching high school football in Texas at Mount Vernon in 2019 and 2020.

As for the short term, it’s not an easy task for Texas Tech as they will face No. 4 Oklahoma this weekend. In fact, all four of the Red Raiders’ remaining games are against ranked teams.

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