The Daily Nole

FSU Hires Kendal Briles as Offensive Coordinator

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Florida State football will hire Houston offensive coordinator Kendal Briles for the same position at Florida State, according to multiple reports.

Briles was a name that emerged in the coaching search from the very beginning. While the timeline might be different than what is publicly assumed, Florida State was interested in Briles and approached him for an interview at some point in the past week. Most sources agree that head coach Willie Taggart offered him the job officially this weekend.

We reported earlier this month that a source told us Briles would not be hired by Florida State. This person usually did not speak to The Daily Nole about such things. We still thought they were in a position to know the decision, or at least where it was trending.

We still regard the source as truthful about the information they received, but they were wrong about this one. By extension, we were wrong, and we apologize to readers.

Briles is regarded as another bright young mind for college football offenses, learning under his father Art Briles since 2008 at Baylor. The younger Briles was promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2015.

He left for Florida Atlantic after 2016 and immediately saw success with the Owls. Under his coordination, they rose to the sixth-ranked overall offense in the S&P+ rankings.

He then left to Houston for the same position. The Cougars went 8-5 this season and had the 11th-ranked offense in the S&P+ rankings, with both their rushing and passing attack placing in the top 25.

From a strategy standpoint, Briles would make a lot of sense for Florida State. Taggart’s offense uses many of the same concepts that turned Baylor into a Big XII offensive juggernaut. Briles could bring the needed boost to the Gulf Coast that it did not have this past season.

The obvious problem with this hire is the off-the-field baggage that Kendal Briles brings.

Briles worked under his father at Baylor during the sexual assault scandal in 2016. While the story is too complex to accurately summarize in one paragraph, the general charge is: Baylor football staff members and university officials engaged in a cover-up towards athletes accused of sexual assault. Multiple accusations center around the football staff and their lack of compliance in reporting alleged crimes committed by their players.

The scandal resulted in the firing of Art Briles, as well as resignations of Baylor University President Ken Starr, athletic director Ian McCaw, and Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford.

Kendal Briles has yet to be definitively connected to an incident of improper reporting. However, many documents from the internal investigation are not public, and given his relationship to his father, there are good reasons to be concerned about the younger Briles’ involvement.

He is also alleged to have pitched a recruit on the “white women” at Baylor who “love football players.” We will have more analysis on the Briles hire in the coming days.

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