A certain vocal segment of the Tennessee fan base was decidedly against Greg Schiano and the perceived baggage he’d bring to Rocky Top when the Vols were last searching for a head football coach. Given the surname now connected to UT’s search for a coordinator, it’ll be interesting to see if another fan uprising is in the offing.
Late last month, Kendal Briles was reportedly a candidate for the Texas State head-coaching job that ultimately went to West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. Fast-forward nearly two weeks, and 247Sports.com‘s Wes Rucker is reporting that the Houston offensive coordinator is now a candidate for the same job at Tennessee. The Houston Chronicle subsequently confirmed that Briles will interview for the job.
Additionally, both media outlets have reported that Florida State is interested in the coordinator as well.
In the wake of Texas State’s interest, Briles received a new three-year contract from Houston. Per the terms of that contract, the Chronicle reported, Briles would owe “50 percent of his remaining base salary, about $1 million, if he leaves before the end of next season.”
Art Briles, Kendal’s father, was fired by Baylor in May of 2016 amidst a sexual assault scandal involving his Bears football program. Kendal Briles was an assistant on his father’s BU coaching staff, and was swept up in the sea of change that engulfed the football program in the wake of that scandal.
What any university considering Kendal Briles will have to determine is his connection to the scandal at Baylor and how serious the storm would be if he were to be hired — and if it would be worth riding out. According to one of the handful of lawsuits filed against Baylor University in connection to the sexual assault allegations, Kendal Briles is alleged to have contributed to the “culture of sexual violence” at the school and once told a recruit, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”
The younger brother has been hired twice since the scandal in Waco erupted — by Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic and then again at Houston. His father, meanwhile, has been a pariah in the coaching profession, at least in North America.
The Volunteers are looking to replace Ty Helton, who left last month to become the head coach at Western Kentucky. Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, ousted amidst scandal in Oxford, has also been mentioned as a candidate to fill the UT opening although he’s expected become the head coach at Liberty. Alabama offensive coordinator Dan Enos is a candidate as well.
In Tallahassee, the Seminoles are on the hunt for a new coordinator after Walt Bell was hired as the head coach at UMass.