The AFCA Coaches Convention happens every year right around the time of the national championship game and is regularly a place where coaches at every level of the game go to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, exchange ideas and (for some) find new jobs.
The 2018 edition of the convention is already underway in Charlotte, N.C. and features another fascinating set of talks by coaches around the country. Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch might be one with the rather obscure title of ‘Standing Strong / Game Management.’ Why might the average fan raise an eyebrow over such a seemingly routine subject? Well, the fact that scandal-riddled former Baylor coach Art Briles is set to address the room.
“It’s our responsibility to educate coaches,” AFCA executive director and former Louisiana Monroe head coach Todd Berry told The Athletic. “Certainly one of the things Coach Briles experienced, and one of the things I believe he’s going to share, is there are some things that happened and he can share an experience no one else can with our group, so that we can avoid issues down the road.
“While there are things you know in theory, the reality is you’re going to gain more from someone who experienced it, that knows what to look for.”
The news of Briles’ speaking engagement comes just days after there was a minor furor brought up over Houston coach Major Applewhite hiring his son Kendal Briles to be the Cougars’ new offensive coordinator. The elder Briles was reportedly involved in the coaching search at FCS Incarnate Word but has otherwise kept a fairly low profile after getting fired at Baylor in 2016 after numerous sexual assault allegations were brought against the football program.
Briles did briefly take a job in the CFL but the uproar the team faced that followed cost him the position after just a few hours.
While the Coaches Convention’s reasoning of trying to educate others may be sound, it remains puzzling why they would think inviting Briles would be a good idea after a law firm determined that the Baylor coaching staff chose not to report sexual assaults and Briles himself is at the center of several lawsuits. Either way, the normally sleepy Tuesday following the national title game will certainly be a lot more interesting up in Charlotte.
In a statement, Kansas State has confirmed the passing of head coach Bill Snyder‘s grandson and assistant coach Sean Snyder‘s son.
Emergency personnel were called to the home of Matthew Snyder Wednesday afternoon for what was described as a medical emergency. Other than the 22-year-old was deceased, no further details of the events surrounding his death have been released.
While neither of the long-time Wildcats coaches have, understandably, addressed the tragedy, K-State athletic director Gene Taylor did in a statement.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Snyder family during this very difficult time. We are deeply saddened to learn of this news and ask that the family’s privacy continue to be respected. Sean, Wanda, and the entire Snyder family are greatly appreciative of the outpouring of support displayed by the K-State Family as they cope with this tragedy.
This one seemingly comes from out of nowhere.
The starting quarterback for Lane Kiffin‘s resurgent FAU program for most of 2017, Jason Driskel was hoping again to trigger one of the most potent offenses in the country in 2018. Instead, Driskel announced on his personal Twitter account that he is retiring from the sport.
“After a lot of thinking, talking with friends and family, and prayer, I have made the decision to end my college football career,” Driskel, who has one year of eligibility remaining, wrote in the social media missive. “I undoubtedly will miss my teammates and the game with all of its trials and tribulations; but I will not regret the decision to move into the next chapter of my life.”
After going 1-2 the first three games of the 2017 season, Lane Kiffin benched starter Daniel Parr and inserted Driskel. After losing his first start at Buffalo, Driskel proceeded to help lead the Owls to 10 straight wins to close out the regular season with a school-record 11 wins. FAU won the Conference USA championship and also claimed the program’s first bowl win since 2008 for good measure.
Driskel passed for 2,247 yards, five touchdowns and just four interceptions in what turned out to be his last season at the school. He was also third on the Owls with 427 yards rushing, while his eight rushing touchdowns were second on the team.
With Driskel out, a pair of transfers, Florida State’s De'Andre Johnson and Oklahoma’s Chris Robinson, will likely battle for the starting job beginning in the spring. Even if he hadn’t retired, Driskel would’ve had to beat out that duo for the starting job, his head coach confirmed after the Boca Raton Bowl rout of Akron.
Tragedy has struck at the heart of the Kansas State football program.
According to the Manhattan Mercury, 22-year-old Matthew Snyder died Wednesday in Manhattan. Snyder is the grandson of legendary K-State head coach Bill Snyder and the son of longtime Wildcats assistant Sean Snyder.
Scant details surrounding the younger Snyder’s death have been released. From the Mercury‘s report:
Emergency personnel responded to a medical call Wednesday afternoon in the 3300 block of Claflin Avenue in Manhattan. Riley County police confirmed that there had been a death but declined to give any further information.
The house at 3309 Claflin Ave. belongs to KTMW LLC, which is owned by Sean and Wanda Snyder, according to county records.
The football program is expected to release a statement or statements on Matthew Snyder’s passing later on Thursday.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those affected by the young man’s death.
Wednesday evening, Jeff George Jr. announced that he was leaving the Illinois football program as a graduate transfer. A short time later, another of his fellow Fighting Illini quarterbacks confirmed his exit as well — albeit with a twist.
On his personal Twitter account, Chayce Crouch announced that not only is he leaving the Illini but he’s leaving the sport, period. “I don’t think there’s anything left to give,” the redshirt junior wrote. “I have decided to hang up the cleats and end my career as a Fighting Illini.
“At this point in my life, this is what is best for me.”
Crouch started the first four games of the 2017 season before being benched in favor of George Jr. in early October; he started another game later on in the year. The Ohio native finishes his collegiate career completing 78 of his 157 passes for 852 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 360 yards and another four touchdowns on 108 carries.
With the departures of Crouch and George, rising sophomore Cam Thomas is the only scholarship quarterback currently on the Illini’s roster. A three-star recruit signed last December, MJ Rivers, won’t enroll until the summer. There’s also the possibility of adding another recruit during the “usual” February signing period, and there’s also the possibility (probability?) that a graduate transfer at the position will be added as well.