Former Baylor coach Art Briles has been the subject of controversy for years since his departure from the program.
And it didn’t take long for the backlash to begin, with former Grambling quarterback and NFL Super Bowl winner Doug Williams firmly speaking out against the hire.
“I’m not a fan at all,” Williams told the Washington Post. “I’m very, very disappointed in Grambling, I really am.…I talked to the A.D. a couple times. They knew where I stood, but they did it and if that’s what they want to do, that’s fine. I’m out.”
Briles, 66, last coached in 2020 at Mount Vernon (Texas) High School. His team reached the Class 3A Division I semifinals, but he resigned shortly after the season’s conclusion.
His hire now marks the first time that he has coached at the college level since his departure from Baylor in 2016.
Briles was fired following a massive sexual assault scandal in 2016, in which one lawsuit stated that were 52 rapes committed by at least 31 different Baylor football players between 2011 and 2014 under Briles’ watch.
Prior to his success at Baylor, Briles was named Houston’s head coach in 2003. He posted a 34-28 record, helping the Cougars win the Conference USA title in 2006.
During his eight seasons at Baylor, Briles posted a 65-37 record and went 3-3 in bowl games. Under Briles’ watch, the Bears finished with 10-plus wins on four different occasions. Baylor also finished ranked in the AP’s top 25 four times as well. Baylor won two Big 12 Championships under Briles’ watch.
Following the firing of Matt Wells, Texas Tech was reportedly interested in hiring Briles but ultimately elected to hire Baylor associate coach Joey McGuire instead. Briles has also coached in the Italian Football League and was hired to coach the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League before the backlash of criticism and pressure from league officials reversed the decision.
Grambling recently hired former NFL head coach Hue Jackson to its opening following his lone season as Tennessee State’s offensive coordinator. During his time with Cleveland Browns and now-Las Vegas Raiders, Jackson posted an overall record of 11-46-1.
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