Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Art Briles signs contract extension with Baylor through 2023

No. 5 Baylor's doing what it can to keep its star of a head coach off the market.

Art Briles, perhaps the hottest name on the coaching rumor circuit, has signed a deal that would keep him in Waco for the next decade, according to Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News and Joe Schad of ESPN.

The architect of the country's best offense has been the subject of frequent speculation connecting him to the potentially soon-to-be-open Texas Longhorns job. This news won't end that speculation for good, but it does show Baylor's prepared to put up a fight to keep its coach, now and for the long-term future. That Briles didn't wait until college football's silly season to sign a new deal has to be even more encouraging for Bears fans.

Briles, 58, has been a Texan his entire life. He played three seasons at the University of Houston as a wide receiver after growing up in the Lone Star State. He then transferred to Texas Tech to receive his bachelor's degree. Briles spent the next 20 years of his career working as a coach with numerous powerhouse high school programs across Texas. Few high-profile college coaches make it coming up through the high school ranks, but Briles managed to do it.

Briles' first college coaching gig came in 2000 as the running backs coach at Texas Tech. He then returned to Houston to become their head coach in 2003, spending five mostly-successful seasons with the Cougars. Baylor offered him their head coaching gig in 2008 and Briles has since led the program back to the promise land. The Bears were 33-30 under the 58-year-old coach prior to the 2013 season, including a 10-3 mark in 2011 which was capped off with an Alamo Bowl victory. The 10 wins tied a school record.

Baylor found a resurgence on the recruiting trail under Briles. They have continually been ranked in the top-50 the past few years, including the No. 26-ranked class in 2012 and 2013, according to 24/7 Sports. Given his background on offense, the Bears have routinely brought in highly-regarded players at the skill positions since Briles moved to Waco.

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This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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