Art Briles
Arthur Ray Briles is an American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at Baylor University
Baylor University
Baylor University is a private, Christian university located in Waco, Texas. Founded in 1845, Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.-History:...

, a position he has held since the 2008 season. From 2002 to 2007, Briles was the head coach at the University of Houston
University of Houston
The University of Houston is a state research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas's third-largest university with nearly 40,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of...


Playing career

A native of Rule, Texas
Rule, Texas
Rule is a town in Haskell County, Texas, United States. The population was 698 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Rule is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all of it land....

, Briles attended Rule High School, where he was coached by his father. Playing quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 and earning all-state honors, Briles accepted a scholarship offer by Bill Yeoman
Bill Yeoman
Bill Yeoman is a former American football player and coach in the United States. Starting in 1962, he was the University of Houston's head coach, holding the position through 1986. In his tenure, he became the winningest coach in school history, with an overall record of 160–108–8...

 at the University of Houston
University of Houston
The University of Houston is a state research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas's third-largest university with nearly 40,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of...

. There Briles switched to wide receiver
Wide receiver
A wide receiver is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is the key player in most of the passing plays. Only players in the backfield or the ends on the line are eligible to catch a forward pass. The two players who begin play at the ends of the offensive line are eligible...

 and played three seasons, including the 1977 Cotton Bowl Classic. His parents and aunt died in a car crash on their way to see him play in a game in October 1976. After finishing the 1976–77 academic year, Briles left Houston and transferred to Texas Tech
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University, often referred to as Texas Tech or TTU, is a public research university in Lubbock, Texas, United States. Established on February 10, 1923, and originally known as Texas Technological College, it is the leading institution of the Texas Tech University System and has the...

 to complete his bachelor's degree, which he earned in 1979. He went on to earn a master's degree in education at Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University is a private university located in Abilene, Texas, affiliated with Churches of Christ. ACU was founded in 1906, as Childers Classical Institute...

 before entering coaching.

High school

Briles began his coaching career as an assistant at Sundown High School
Sundown High School
Sundown High School is a 1A high school located in Sundown, Texas . It is part of the Sundown Independent School District located in southern Hockley County...

. From 1980 to 1983, he served as an assistant at Sweetwater High School
Sweetwater High School
There a several schools named Sweetwater High School:* Sweetwater High School * Sweetwater High School * Sweet Water High School...

. At age 28, he became head coach at 2A Hamlin High School, where he coached from 1984 to 1985. He guided the team to a 27–1–1 record including a 35-19 loss to Electra High School
Electra High School
Electra High School is a public school in Electra, Texas . It is part of the Electra Independent School District and serves students in grades nine through twelve. It is part of the Electra Independent School District located in western Wichita County...

 in the 1985 state semifinals. His instant success caught the attention of bigger schools, so Briles left Hamlin for 5A Georgetown High School in 1986, where he had a difficult two-year span in the school's first two seasons at the highest classification in Texas high school football. Briles left the school in 1987 with a 4–15–1 overall record.

In 1988, he took over head coaching duties at 4A Stephenville High School
Stephenville High School
-Athletics:SHS has been one of the most successful football programs in the state of Texas in recent years. Though it did not make the playoffs from 1952 to 1989, the arrival of Art Briles finally turned the program around. Briles got the Yellow Jackets to the playoffs from 1989 until his departure...

 in Stephenville, Texas
Stephenville, Texas
Stephenville is a city in and the county seat of Erath County, Texas, United States. The population was 14,921 at the 2000 census. Founded in 1856, it is home to Tarleton State University. Stephenville is among several communities that calls itself the "Cowboy Capital of the...

, a school that was playing in the same area as state powerhouse Brownwood High School
Brownwood High School
Brownwood High School is a 3A high school located in Brownwood, Texas . It is part of the Brownwood Independent School District located in central Brown County...

 and had not reached the playoffs in football since 1952. After a 4–5–1 season in 1989, Briles' Stephenville squads made the playoffs in 1990 and ever since. During Briles' tenure they won four state championships, including back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994, and then again in 1998 and 1999. Coincidentally, in the 1993 and '94 state finals Briles' Stephenville squads faced La Marque
La Marque High School
La Marque High School is a public high school in La Marque, Texas, United States. The school, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the La Marque Independent School District.The school serves sections of La Marque, Texas City and Tiki Island...

, then coached by Briles' defensive coordinator at Houston, Alan Weddell.

Although Stephenville's offense was devastating throughout the 1990s, Briles shifted his offensive scheme from a running game in the early 90s to a passing game in the late 90s. Stephenville's first two state championship teams scored 89 touchdowns rushing in 1993, and 96 touchdowns rushing in 1994, which was second and third all-time in the nation, respectively, only behind Big Sandy
Big Sandy High School
Big Sandy High School is a public, co-educational secondary school in the Big Sandy Independent School District in Upshur County, Texas. It is located in Big Sandy, Texas.-Athletics:The Big Sandy Wildcats compete in these sports -...

's national record 114 touchdowns rushing from the 1975 season. In the late 90s, Briles adapted the spread offense and today is one of the coaches credited for introducing it to Texas high school football. His 1998 team posted 8,664 yards of total offense, breaking the 73-year-old national record 8,588 yards originally established by Pine Bluff High School
Pine Bluff High School
Pine Bluff High School is a public high school in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas, USA. It is the largest public school in the city and county.-Mission:...

 in 1925.

Briles was also known for developing quarterbacks, sending six of his former players to Division I colleges, including Branndon Stewart
Branndon Stewart
Branndon Stewart is a former American football player. He played quarterback for the University of Tennessee and Texas A&M University.- High school career :...

, Kevin Kolb
Kevin Kolb
Kevin Benjamin Kolb is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League . He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Houston....

, and his son Kendal Briles.


Briles left Stephenville after the 1999 season to join Mike Leach's staff at Texas Tech
Texas Tech Red Raiders football
Texas Tech Red Raiders football program is a college football team that represents Texas Tech University . The team competes, as a member of the Big 12 Conference, which is a Division I Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association...

. While serving as running backs coach, Briles improved Texas Tech's rushing average every year from 66.4 yards a game in his first year to 99.6 yards a game in 2002. He also coached all-conference backs and later NFL players Ricky A. Williams, Shaud Williams
Shaud Williams
Shaud Rashae Williams is an American football running back for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He played college football at Alabama.- Early career :Born in Andrews, Texas, Williams attended Andrews High...

, and Taurean Henderson
Taurean Henderson
Taurean Lamar Henderson is a multi-purpose running back, who is currently a free agent.-Early life:...


In 2003, Briles was hired as head coach at the University of Houston
Houston Cougars football
The Houston Cougars football program is an NCAA Division I FBS football team that represents the University of Houston. The team is commonly referred to as "Houston" or "UH" . The UH football program is currently a member of the Conference USA intercollegiate athletic conference, and is coached by...

, where he took over a program that had an 8–26 record under the previous coach, Dana Dimel
Dana Dimel
-External links:* *...

. The Cougars went 0–11 just two years before Briles's arrival. In his first season, Briles led the Cougars to a 7–5 record, including a 48–54 triple overtime loss to Hawaii
Hawaii Warriors football
The Hawaii Warriors football team represents the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The team, which is currently coached by Greg McMackin, is part of the Western Athletic Conference until 2012, when the team joins the Mountain West Conference.The Hawaii Warriors...

, in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

After a 3–8 season in 2004, Briles guided the Cougars to a 6–6 season and another bowl game
Bowl game
In North America, a bowl game is commonly considered to refer to one of a number of post-season college football games. Prior to 2002, bowl game statistics were not included in players' career totals and the games were mostly considered to be exhibition games involving a payout to participating...

 in 2005. In 2006, he led the Cougars to a 10–4 record and the Conference USA
Conference USA
Conference USA, officially abbreviated C-USA, is a college athletic conference whose member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports...

 Championship that was played on December 1, 2006. The Cougars won the game 34–20 and it was the school's second C-USA Championship (the first came in 1996, in the school's inaugural season in the C-USA).

In 2007, the Cougars finished second in the Conference USA West Division to Todd Graham
Todd Graham
Todd Graham is the head football coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was previously the head coach at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.-Playing career:...

's Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa Golden Hurricane football
The University of Tulsa's Golden Hurricane football team represents Tulsa in Conference USA. Tulsa is currently coached by first-year head coach Bill Blankenship. The football team was coached by Todd Graham until he accepted the head coaching job at Pittsburgh....

. Houston was invited to the Texas Bowl
2007 Texas Bowl
The 2007 Texas Bowl, part of the 2007-08 NCAA football bowl games season, was played on December 28, 2007 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas....

, which was played December 28, 2007 at Reliant Stadium
Reliant Stadium
Reliant Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium, in Houston, Texas, USA. Reliant Stadium has a seating capacity of 71,500, a total square footage of with of natural grass playing surface....

. It was Houston's fourth bowl appearance in five years. Briles left the Cougars before their bowl game to take a coaching job at Baylor.

Briles interviewed for the Baylor
Baylor Bears
Baylor Bears refers to the sports teams of Baylor University. Baylor's men's sports teams are nicknamed the Bears, and some women's teams are nicknamed the Lady Bears. Student athletes participate in the NCAA's Division I, and Baylor is the only private school in the Big 12 Conference...

 head coach position on November 27, 2007, and was hired the next day for a seven-year term. At Baylor, Briles was faced with a familiar task to turn around another rebounding program. Within three years, Art Briles led the Baylor Bears to their first bowl game in 15 years.

In his first season at Baylor, Briles led the Bears to a 4–8 record, 2–6 in Big 12 play. The season featured the emergence of freshman quarterback Robert Griffin. In his second season at Baylor, the Bears again finished with a 4–8 record. However, they only went 1–7 in Big 12 conference play. Griffin was injured and missed every conference game. Baylor bounced back in 2010 with a 7–5 (4–4 conference) record with Griffin, who passed for over 3,000 yards, at the helm. Also the Baylor Bears achieved a bid in the Texas Bowl
2010 Texas Bowl
The 2010 Texas Bowl was the fifth edition of the college football bowl game, and was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The game started at 5:00 PM US CST on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. The game was telecast on ESPN for the second time in bowl history after being televised by the NFL...

 to play Illinois
2010 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
The 2010 Illinois Fighting Illini football team represented the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in the 2010 college football season. The Fighting Illini, led by sixth-year head coach Ron Zook, are members of the Big Ten Conference and played their home games at Memorial Stadium...


Briles's Bears opened the 2011 season with a dramatic 50-48 victory over 14th-ranked TCU
TCU Horned Frogs football
The TCU Horned Frogs football team is the intercollegiate football team of Texas Christian University. TCU competes as a member of the Mountain West Conference in the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, but will move to the Big 12 Conference for the 2012 season. TCU began playing football...

. It was Baylor's first win over a ranked opponent since 2004. Later in the season they would upset #5 Oklahoma at home 45-38, for Baylor's first win over the Sooners (having lost the previous 20 meetings).


*left before bowl game

External links

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