Former Stephenville High School and Baylor head football coach Art Briles has accepted an offer to become the head coach of an American-style pro football team in Italy, a local source confirmed to the E-T.
The source said that reports from multiple national news media outlets including ESPN and Sports Illustrated that Briles will be coaching a team based in Florence, Italy are “true.” The source asked not to be identified and declined to give additional information.
The website of the Estra Guelfi Firenze club, a member of the Italian Federation of American Football, quoted Briles as saying, “I am grateful to return to the field to train American Football and do what I love. Jan (Briles’ wife) and I are very happy to arrive in Italy for this new opportunity. I will work tirelessly to make the Estra Guelfi Florence a contender for the title.”
ESPN reported that Briles finalized details on a one-year contract for the 2019 season in the Italian league, which uses American football rules. The season for the IFAF will begin in March.
Edoardo Cammi, general manager of Estra Guelfi Florence, said in a statement, “We are thrilled that coach Briles has accepted our offer and will be our head coach for the 2019 season. We are all excited about the opportunity. Our team and we cannot wait to welcome him (into) our Guelphs Family starting from the offseason.”
Briles, 62, coached the SHS Yellow Jackets to four state championships in the 1990s, and later brought the Baylor football program into prominence, winning Big 12 championships in 2013 and 2014. He was fired by Baylor in 2016 after several now-former BU players were accused of sexual assault crimes.
Briles was the head coach at SHS for 12 seasons, posting an overall record of 136 wins and only 29 losses, with two ties for an incredible .820 winning percentage.
The Jackets made the playoffs 11 times with him as their coach, and their four state titles came in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999.
His record coaching Baylor (2008-2015) was 65-37. In five seasons coaching the University of Houston, he had a 34-28 mark.