Mount Vernon HS hires Art Briles as head football coach

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles has a new job. No, it’s not in college football, the NFL, or even overseas. 

Briles was hired on Friday night as the Mount Vernon High School head football coach. The school made the announcement on Friday. 

Former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles walks the sideline before the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers
Art Briles walks the sideline before the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers (Getty Images)

“We are pleased to welcome Coach Briles back home to Texas,” Dr. Jason McCullough, Mount Vernon ISD’s Superintendent of Schools said in a statement. “He brings with him a wealth of not only football experience, but also life experience. He is passionate about investing in the lives of young people and helping them to succeed, both on the field and in life. After a thorough due diligence process and several earnest conversations, we believe our students will benefit greatly from his skills and experience.”

He was most recently a coach at Guelfi Fierenze in Italy. 

However, before this appointment, he could not find a job in the United States. He had not coached in the US since being fired by Baylor amid a sexual assault scandal that rocked the school and football program. 

The 63-year-old Rule, Texas native has coached at Baylor in 2015. Briles was accused of mishandling of sexual assault allegations made against football players that he coached. 

Former players Tevin Elliott was convicted of sexual assault in 2014. In addition, one year later, Sam Ukwuachu was also convicted of sexual assault. 

Shawn Oakman, another player, was accused of sexual assault. But in March, he was acquitted of the serious charge. 

“I would have done more if I had known more,” Briles said in 2018. “When these allegations came out, we found out at the time you did. I had a meeting with the [Baylor] Board of Regents, where I made suggestions that I never had a chance to fulfill; it would have been similar in the NFL that handles the discipline problems that took it out of the football coaches’ hands. 

“Hindsight is a blessing and a curse. I’ve always been about trying to be fair and honest with everyone I came into contact with. The thing that hurts me as much as anything [was] the culture at Baylor at the time; I don’t think victims, I know they don’t feel comfortable going to report assaults that took place. I don’t think they were represented and taken car of with the level that needed to be handled with. That’s something that through all of this and as time goes will become more clear.”

Briles was last a high school football coach in 1999. He was a high school coach from 1979 through 1999. 

He was the head coach at schools from 1984 through 1999. He was first the head coach at Hamlin High School (Texas) in 1984 and 1985. 

He also was the Georgetown High School (Texas) head coach in 1986 and 1987. In addition, he was the Stephenville High School head coach from 1988 through 1999. 

Briles also was an assistant coach at Sundown High School (Texas – 1979) and Sweetwater High School (Texas – 1980-1983). 

“I began my coaching career in the Friday night lights of Texas high school football, and I’m looking forward to returning to my roots,” Briles said. “I have learned many lessons during my time as a coach. Some lessons are born out of success and others out of failure. But they all present opportunities to grow, to learn, and to teach, as we strive for excellence, both on and off the field.”

Following a high school football coach, he become the running backs coach at Texas Tech from 2000-02. He then was the Houston Cougars head coach from 2003 through 2007. 

Briles was the Bears head coach from 2008 through 2015.

“Not only me, but many of us felt betrayed because we were not privy to the information that was available in a way we want to respond. … With the way things are going, with some of the transparency starting to take place, I am confident the truth will come out. It’s not just important to me.”

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