More than three years after he was fired from Baylor amid a massive sexual assault scandal, Art Briles is headed back to the Texas sidelines.
Mount Vernon High School, located about 100 miles northeast of Dallas, reached a two-year deal with Briles to become its next football coach, the school district announced on Friday night.
“We are pleased to welcome Coach Briles back home to Texas,” Mount Vernon superintendent Jason McCullough said in a statement. “He brings with him a wealth of not only football experience but also life experience. He is passionate about investing in the lives of young people and helping them to succeed both on the field and in life. After a thorough due diligence process and several earnest conversations, we believe our students will benefit greatly from his skills and experience.”
Before jumping to the collegiate level, Briles spent two decades coaching high school football in Texas — including a 10-year stint at Stephensville High School.
"I began my coaching career in the Friday night lights of Texas high school football, and I'm looking forward to returning to my roots," Briles said in a statement. "I have learned many lessons during my time as a coach. Some lessons are born out of success and others out of failure. But they all present opportunities to grow, to learn, and to teach, as we strive for excellence both on and off the field."
Briles was introduced via Skype on Friday night to a room full of Mount Vernon staff, community members and nearly 15 football players who all seemed extremely excited about their new coach.
“I’m extremely tickled myself,” Briles said in the video. “We’re very grateful and humbled to come there and do whatever we can do to help those young people in Mount Vernon.”
Briles was fired from Baylor in May 2016 during the massive sexual assault scandal that rocked the university. One lawsuit, which has since been settled, alleged that 52 rapes by Baylor football players occurred between 2011 and 2014 at the university under Briles’ watch. Briles has said he “did not cover up sexual violence” at the university, which is still under NCAA investigation.
Since his firing, Briles has struggled to get back into coaching. He was briefly hired as an assistant by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League, though that offer was rescinded after widespread backlash. He coached last year for Guelfi Firenze, an American football team in Florence, Italy. Briles interviewed for the offensive coordinator position at Southern Miss earlier this year, but did not receive the job.
The 63-year-old coached at Baylor from 2008-16, compiling a 65-37 record with the Bears.
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