TCU Hires Kendal Briles, Who Still Can’t Shake The Shadow Of A Dad Who Oversaw A Disgraceful Scandal As Baylor Head Coach

TCU Hires Kendal Briles, son of scandal-ridden former Baylor coach Art Briles.
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former TCU offensive coordinator Garret Riley’s replacement at the Fort Worth school is none other than Kendal Briles, the son of former Baylor head coach Art Briles. Things didn’t end well for Art and his staff, which also featured Kendal in Waco, following a disgraceful sexual assault scandal in 2015. Baylor cleaned house, but that hasn’t stopped teams from hiring Kendal and even offering Art a few gigs. 

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Some Fans Dislike TCU Hiring Of Kendal Briles

The hiring of Kendal, raised some eyebrows, including one TCU fan who wrote a letter to the editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“After a season for the history books, with the eyes of the nation firmly upon the little private school from Fort Worth, TCU leadership has made the decision to hire Kendal Briles, a coach with a history entrenched in one of the worst, most horrific systemic failures at a university in our lifetimes: the sexual assaults at Baylor. (Jan 20, 1B, “Four things to know about TCU’s new OC Briles”). Because we just have to win. And regardless of the blatant disregard for the lifetimes’ worth of damage of the young women who were victims at Baylor of the “potential” of this hire for the program, the message is loud and clear — to the victims,  to the Horned Frogs faithful and to the women of the TCU community: we just have to win. Nothing else matters.”

Now that’s a pretty scathing summary of how this hire probably makes the women and victims of that scandal feel. But exactly how much direct involvement Kendal Briles actually had in the scandal has never been expounded on. At that time, he was the program’s recruiting coordinator, learning the ropes under his legendary dad, Art, who was a very successful Texas high school coach prior to coming to Baylor.

What Happened To Art Briles At Baylor? 

The Art Briles era at Baylor has been described as “one of the stormiest periods in the 160-year-old school’s history.”

Since 2007, when he was first hired by the Bears, Briles had taken the program from a team viewed by opponents as a “guaranteed win” each week and developed it into a national powerhouse. After a career year in 2011, powered by then-star QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor went 8-5 the following year and then bounced back in 2013 with an 11-2 record and Briles was given a contract extension.

But then things started to unravel, quietly and, as we later would learn, secretly.

First the scandal involving Boise State transfer, Sam Ukwuachu, erupted, where Ukwuachu was charged with sexual assault of a soccer player at the university before he even played a down for the Bears. The University remained silent on the issue at first, until Ukwuachu was found guilty of the charges. Then the lid started to come off, with incidents involving, and allegations against, players on the team in regard to sexual assault and violence.

Briles, his staff and school President Robert Sloan all lost their jobs.

Scandal Hasn’t Stopped Kendal From Landing Jobs

Since the scandal ran Briles and his staff out of Waco, most have been able to still land jobs. In fact, Kendal has been the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic, Houston, Florida State, Arkansas and now TCU. Not bad for a guy many still believe was more involved in the scandal than what’s been revealed. And even if he wasn’t, you’d think that his direct connection to his dad automatically casts a black eye on him no matter where he’s hired.

Briles is a very good play-caller, with every offense he’s coached showing a real leap in production with him at the helm.

What’s Up With Art Briles?

As for Kendal’s dad, he hasn’t been as lucky, never really being given another opportunity to lead a program since that scandal, as he shouldn’t. Art was briefly hired by Grambling State head coach Hue Jackson last year. But after some major blowback, mainly from former Tigers legend Doug Williams, he resigned a few days later.

While that’s highly unlikely to happen at TCU, it’s still something to watch for over the next few days. Based on Kendal’s track record, he’ll be OK.

After their surprising 2022 season, the Horned Frogs will have to replace some key pieces. Mainly quarterback Max Duggan, the Heisman runner-up, who’s headed to the NFL. Also, wide receiver Quinton Johnston who could be the first wideout taken in this year’s draft. The loss of Riley as the play-caller is big as well, when you consider how he got everyone to masterfully execute his uptempo scheme.

Now, Briles is running the offense, and based on the success he’s had at previous stops TCU should be formidable on that side of the ball.