Art Briles is out.
Four days after being hired as Grambling State's offensive coordinator, the controversial coach has left the program. Briles confirmed the news in a statement Monday moments after a report by ESPN's Pete Thamel.
"Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want," Briles' statement reads, per Thamel. "I have the utmost respect [for] the university, and your players."
Grambling great Doug Williams criticized Briles hire
Briles was fired as Baylor's head coach in 2016 amid a sexual assault scandal under his watch. His hiring at Grambling State under head coach Hue Jackson was met with widespread criticism, including from revered former quarterback Doug Williams, who went on to win a Super Bowl with Washington after starring at GSU.
Williams, who now works as a senior adviser for Washington Commanders, also spent two separate stints as Grambling State's head coach. He told the Washington Post last week that he couldn't support the program as along as Briles was on staff.
“I don’t know Art Briles. I’ve never met him in my life,” Williams said. “But the situation, nobody else would hire him for whatever reason. I don’t know why Grambling State had to go be the one to hire him, so I’m not a fan at all. ...
"I can’t do that," he continued when asked about supporting the program with Briles. "No, no, no. If I support them, I condone it.”
Briles hasn't coached in college since sexual assault scandal
Briles hasn't coached in college since being fired from Baylor following the 2015 season. He returned to coaching in 2019 at Mount Vernon High School in East Texas. Prior to joining Mount Vernon, Briles couldn't find a job after a spate of sexual assault allegations against Baylor players while he was head coach. A 2017 lawsuit alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 rapes over the course of four years. Briles coached the Bears from 2008-15.
An NCAA investigation into the allegations concluded that Baylor “failed to report allegations of and address sexual and interpersonal violence committed on its campus" while concluding that Briles "did not report"... “potential criminal conduct” by one of his players when he learned of it.
"His incurious attitude toward potential criminal conduct by his student-athletes was deeply troubling to the panel," the report released in August 2021 states.
Despite the investigation's conclusion, Briles didn't face major NCAA penalties.
Jackson, who coached the NFL's Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns, was hired by Grambling State in December. His Hue Jackson Foundation released a statement defending the hiring of Briles on Friday.
“We believe through the hiring of Coach Briles and the well-developed programs we have in place, this hire will be instrumental in teaching others the importance of knowing how to prevent victimization, proper reporting structures, provide adequate resources to those individuals who have been victimized and develop strong law enforcement partnerships within the community,” the statement read.