Houston has hired Kendal Briles as associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and Randy Clements as run game coordinator and offensive line coach, the program announced Saturday.
It will be the pair’s second stint at Houston, after both worked there previously under Art Briles. That would be Kendal’s father and the disgraced former Baylor head coach. That Art Briles.
Briles and Clements were swept out along with the entire staff after the 2016 season, then spent 2017 in relative states of exile. Briles was the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic, and Clements was the offensive line coach at Southeastern University, an NAIA school in Lakeland, Fla. And both were tremendously successful this fall.
Alongside Lane Kiffin, Briles helped Florida Atlantic rank ninth nationally in total offense, sixth in rushing and eighth in scoring at just north of 40 points per game. Sophomore running back Devin Singletary finished fourth nationally with 1,920 rushing yards and set the Conference USA record with 32 rushing touchdowns, helping the Owls roll to an 11-3 season and a C-USA championship just one year removed from three straight 3-9 campaigns.
Working alongside another former Baylor assistant in Jeff Lebby, Clements help Southeastern lead all of college football with 55.1 points per game while rolling up 330 rushing yards and 557 total yards per game. Lebby has since been hired on Josh Heupel‘s staff at Central Florida.
Those moves show that while Art Briles may still be persona non grata in major college football, his former assistants aren’t.
“We are excited to welcome Kendal, Randy and their families back to Houston. They have extensive knowledge of our program and its standards, and we know they will be the right fit,” Cougars head coach Major Applewhite said in a statement. “They both have been a part of some of the nation’s top offenses with multiple programs and have shown the ability to learn and adapt while staying thoroughly tied into our state’s landscape in terms of recruiting. Throughout this process we have researched their abilities and backgrounds with several references and have received glowing praise.”
In Applewhite’s first season, Houston went 7-5, concluding with a Hawaii Bowl loss to Fresno State. The Cougars ranked 65th nationally in scoring, after placing 26th in 2016 and 10th in their AAC championship, Peach Bowl-winning campaign of 2015.