Former Stephenville coach Art Briles, who led the Yellow Jackets to all four of the school's state championships in Class 4A football, has been named the new head football coach at Baylor.
Briles met with Baylor Athletic Director Ian McCaw in Dallas Tuesday and was offered the position Wednesday.
The Houston Chronicle has reported that Briles has agreed to a seven-year deal with a base salary of $1.8-million. He had four years left on his current contract with Houston, with $900,000 in base pay.
Briles, who won state titles with Stephenville in 1993 and 94, then repeated again in 1998 and 99, is finishing his fifth year as the head coach at the University of Houston. The Cougars' program was in disarray before he arrived, having gone 0-11 two years earlier. Briles has led Houston to three bowl games in his first four years, but has yet to win one. The Cougars have already accepted a bid to play in the Texas Bowl to end this season.
Briles is a Houston alum and played for the Cougars before beginning his coaching career.
He left Stephenville after the school's fourth state title to coach running backs at Texas Tech, where he was also the recruiting coordinator. He left the panhandle and began his tenure with Houston in 2003.
Before coming to Stephenville, Briles engineered two long playoff runs with Class 2A Hamlin, but won only four games in two years at 5A Georgetown.
Briles, who turns 52 Monday, was 34-28 at Houston, with his best year coming in 2006, with Stephenville native and current NFL quarterback Kevin Kolb under his tutelage. Briles, Kolb and the Cougars went 10-3 in the regular season and won the school's second Conference USA Championship before falling in the Liberty Bowl.
The Baylor position came open after Guy Morris was fired at the end of a 3-9 season. Baylor has now suffered through 12 consecutive losing seasons and is the only Big 12 school without a bowl appearance in the 11 year history of the conference.
Stephenville ISD Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd followed the situation closely and was glad to hear that the deal is complete.
“Just with his style of offense alone he should instill some much needed enthusiasm at Baylor,” Floyd said.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124 ext. 241, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.