Baylor had an outstanding season that came to an end Wednesday night with a 52-42 loss to Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl. Now word out of Austin is that Bears coach Art Briles would accept the head coaching position at the University of Texas if offered.
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong has reportedly already interviewed with Texas athletic director Steve Patterson for the school’s vacant head coaching job, but Briles appears to be next on the agenda. The Baylor coach wanted to finish his season before meeting with anyone, and will likely do so soon.
The 58-year-old Briles has been at Baylor since 2008 and has turned things around after a pedestrian beginning at the school. After back-to-back 4-8 seasons in 2008 and 2009, the Bears were 7-6 in 2010, 10-3 in 2011, 8-5 in 2012 and finished this season 11-2 with a Big 12 championship.
Briles is considered an offensive innovator and would modernize things on that side of the ball at Texas, something badly needed after several years of offensive mediocrity in Mack Brown’s final few seasons.
This season Baylor led the nation in total offense, averaging a ridiculous 624.5 yards per game (Oregon was second in the country with 565.0 yards per game). The Bears also had the nation’s top scoring offense, averaging 53.3 points per game.
Briles started his coaching career in the Texas high school ranks as an assistant in 1979. After various stops, including 11 years as the head coach at Stephenville High School, he landed at his alma mater Texas Tech as the running backs coach from 2000 to 2002. He was hired as Houston’s head coach in 2003 and posted a 34-28 record in five seasons before going to Baylor.
In November, Briles signed a contract extension that runs through 2023, that will pay him more than $4 million per season. According to various reports, Briles’ buyout would be between $4 million and $12 million, a price Texas would certainly be willing to pay to get its man.
In the past, Briles has made statements claiming he had no desire to leave Baylor, but a source we contacted while writing this story told us it would be hard for the Texas native to pass up the chance to take the Longhorns’ job.
We’ll see how this plays out, but we expect a few tense days for Baylor fans.