The Houston Cougars hiring Kendal Briles could be one of the worst mistakes made in program history. He’s certainly not worth the headache as well as the hassle. Here’s why.
The Houston Cougars new associate head coach and offensive coordinator has quite the resume. He transmogrified the Florida Atlantic Owls into a Top 10 offense in FBS and they never scored less than 30 points in a game all season. In just one year, he took the Owls from gaining the 9th most yards in Conference USA to leading the conference in not only total yards, but points as well. So why is the hire as problematic as the headline reads? It’s because Kendal Briles‘ name is as toxic as the accusations surrounding him.
Briles was part of the regime at Baylor, led by his father in Art Briles, who was a former Houston Cougars head coach. You know the story, his program morphed into a culture of inappropriate misconduct towards women on campus. This was not only damning accusation but also a claim that has been investigated, vetted and deemed to be true with multiple convictions applied to former Baylor athletes.
Kendal Briles was at Baylor from 2008-16 and every bit a part of that coaching staff during this tumultuous tenure and should be given just as much blame as his father. It’s hypocritical of University of Houston administration to pretend to have the moral high ground in regard to interviewing Art Briles but then turn around and hire his son who was every bit a part of the
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culture that was created.
After Art Briles was fired from Baylor, many in Waco felt like he was the “scapegoat,” and make no bones about it, many in Houston felt the same way. Art Briles will always have people in his corner that feel like he truly did nothing wrong but it’s important to know that he and his entire coaching staff did something wrong. There are many instances of the Baylor staff covering up sexual assault claims during that time and these claims have been proven. Baylor is still trying to settle a lawsuit with these victims that have both Art and Kendal Briles’ names in the lawsuit.
Bad news for the Houston Cougars
Is this really the type of baggage the Houston Cougars want associated with their program? With the hiring of Kendal Briles, UH proves that they don’t care about his baggage as long as he can help win games. Major Applewhite didn’t have the best first year as head coach and seems desperate to do whatever it takes to right the ship. This just is not the right or even decent way to do it.
What makes this hiring that much more disappointing is that Houston president Renu Khator is one of the most influential female educators in the country. The fact that she is willing to allow a coach onto her campus that allowed such activity to happen is more than saddening, it’s despicable.