In case you need a stern reminder, former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles is a disgrace to the game a football, a man who basically sold his soul to win a few college games. There are countless examples of people who deserve a second chance after doing something wrong, but the now-63-year-old Briles does not fit that criteria. Yet, somehow, he has landed a job back in the United States.
It’s been three years since Briles was fired from Baylor following a sexual assault scandal in Waco, Texas, which also saw the university’s president and athletic director fired. A 2017 lawsuit claimed that at least 31 football players committed at least 52 rapes between 2011 and 2014.
Then, after coaching Estra Guelfi Firenze in Italy last year, Briles has been hired to be the high school football coach at Mount Vernon High School in East Texas. According to KWTX, the Mount Vernon school board unanimously approved the hire, and Briles signed a two-year contract worth $82,000.
It’s not the big money you see many top Texas high school coaches make, but this has nothing to do with the contract and everything to do with the fact that a man who once turned a blind eye to sexual assault at a private Christian university gets another chance to coach America’s youth.
To say this is a massive risk is an understatement. In no way does Briles have a good reputation, yet the hiring of former Baylor coach Art Briles is something Mount Vernon Independent School District Superintendent Jason McCullough is willing to defend.
“I understand that we’ll be one of the most highly scrutinized districts this coming year. But I also believe that coach Briles is going to earn the trust of our community every day by his actions, by his words, and by his deeds, and our athletes will benefit his time with us.”
— Mount Vernon ISD Superintendent Jason McCullough, via KWTX
Nobody is going to deny Briles’ ability to coach football teams at a high level. He showed that in his NCAA college football stops with the Houston Cougars (Conference USA) and Baylor Bears (Big 12) football programs. He even has experience at the high school level during his time as head coach at Hamlin (TX), Georgetown (TX), and Stephenville (TX) from 1984 through 1999.
But when McCullough was asked if he spoke to the victims of the Baylor sexual assault scandal or the NCAA, both answers were simply no.
This is the guy Mt. Vernon wants to be the head football coach and to lead the lives of young people? Sure, he has plenty of football experience, but accepting Briles’ past isn’t worth potential state championships.
Art Briles doesn’t deserve a second chance to coach American football, and definitely not at the high school level, but he got it and only time will tell if this move was great or an utter disaster.