GRAMBLING, La. (AP) — Grambling State football coach Hue Jackson has hired disgraced former Baylor coach Art Briles as offensive coordinator, the university confirmed Thursday.
Briles has not worked in college football since 2016, when he was fired by Baylor after an investigation concluded he and his staff took no action against players named in sexual assault allegations.
Grambling has not made a formal announcement, but made Briles available for an exclusive interview with KTAL-TV in Shreveport.
In his interview, Briles said “reporting policies and procedures were not as available as they should have been” during his time at Baylor because the university did not have “a Title IX person” until the fall of 2015.
“You report what you know. We did the best we felt at the time. Apparently, it wasn’t good enough — it wasn’t good enough,” Briles added. “I’m sorry for anybody that suffered any consequences because of it.”
At Grambling, Briles said he’ll do “exactly what I’m required to do and what they expect of me, which is to be a very solid citizen, to be a positive leader on a day-in and day-out basis, to do everything I can do to protect our students and our student-athletes on campus.”
Briles coached at Baylor from 2008-15, going 65-37. Boasting one of then more prolific spread offenses in college football, the Bears were regularly ranked in the AP Top 25 during his tenure and twice received bids to major “New Years Six” bowls. Baylor had four 10-win seasons in a five-year span from 2011-15, after only winning 10 games once before that.
Before his time at Baylor, Briles coached at Houston from 2003-2007.
At Grambling, Briles takes over for Ted White, who left to join the NFL’s Houston Texans.
Last summer, an NCAA panel cleared Briles of committing any rules violations, but also made it clear that it found Briles’ conduct at Baylor unethical.
The NCAA infractions panel stated that Briles “failed to meet even the most basic expectations of how a person should react to the kind of conduct at issue in this case. Furthermore, as a campus leader, the head coach is held to an even higher standard. He completely failed to meet this standard.”
Baylor paid Briles more than $15 million after firing him. He later acknowledged making mistakes and apologized for “some bad things” that happened under his watch.
Briles coached briefly in Italy and then at a Texas high school in Mount Vernon.
Briles said he expects to face some backlash at Grambling and figures there’s nothing he can say now to avoid that, but hopes he can show over time that he can be trusted to do what’s expected of him.
“The only way you can gain trust is how you perform on a daily basis, how you interact with people on a daily basis. And then you have the opportunity to gain some trust,” Briles said in his TV interview. “There’s not a magic wand you can say it and then all of a sudden somebody is going to trust you. You have to earn that trust and that’s certainly what I’ll do.”