HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) — Former Baylor coach Art Briles is back on the sidelines, a long way from Texas.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League on Monday announced that they have hired Briles as their assistant head coach on offense . Hamilton is off to an 0-8 start and recently changed head coaches, promoting longtime NFL and college coach June Jones after he was serving as an assistant for the team.
The 61-year-old Briles was fired in May 2016 by Baylor after an investigation by a law firm found that over several years the school mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations, including some against football players. The Pepper Hamilton review also led to the departures of Baylor University President Kenneth Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw.
“He’s excited to be back in the coaching game, I believe he belongs in college football but his skills translate to any level,” Briles’ attorney, Mark Lanier, told The Associated Press. “He’s excited to be looking at Xs and Os. He’s with a great staff. He’s just really thrilled about it. I think they’ll him so incredible that they’ll want to keep him.”
Baylor has already settled at least two Title IX lawsuits against the school, and earlier this month reached a deal with former student Jasmin Hernandez , the first of several women to file federal Title IX lawsuits against the world’s largest Baptist university. The school previously settled with three women who hadn’t sued.
The Big 12 Conference is withholding revenue from the school until an independent audit shows the university is implementing dozens of reforms recommended by Pepper Hamilton.
Briles has acknowledged making mistakes and apologized for some “bad things that went on under my watch.” Briles was 50-15 in five seasons at Baylor, taking the long downtrodden program to two Big 12 championships. He has also pushed back against accusations made against him and his program in lawsuits and made clear that he wanted to return to coaching.
“He’s no longer in any lawsuits, his ties to Baylor are purely ties of friendship to a lot of the people there,” Lanier said. “He’s excited to turn that page and get to work.”
The Tiger-Cats’ former head coach, Kent Austin, made the move last week to promote Jones. Austin is also the team’s vice president of football operations.
Jones and Briles have never worked together, but Jones’ time as the head coach at SMU overlapped with Briles’ head coaching career at both Houston and Baylor. They are considered two of the leading offensive innovators in football at any level.