Speculation Over: Art Briles Speaks for Himself, Says He's Staying at Baylor

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterJanuary 3, 2014

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears looks on against the UCF Knights during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Unless Art Briles is lying to, well, everyone, the Baylor Bears will keep their head coach. 

Amid rumors that he was close to interviewing with Texas for its head coaching job, Briles took to Twitter Friday morning to debunk the conjecture. 

If that wasn't enough, Baylor and Briles released a statement a short time later pledging the coach's commitment to the program. 

"I have no desire to pursue other coaching positions," Briles said. "As I've said many times, I am both humbled and honored to be the head coach at Baylor University, and believe we have something special going here. I look forward to leading the Bears onto the field next fall at McLane Stadium and defending our Big 12 championship that our players and coaches worked so hard to win this season.

"There is tremendous excitement for our program's future, and I look forward to many more great seasons at Baylor. There is tremendous commitment from our University leadership, athletic administration, coaches and student-athletes - it truly is a great time to be a Baylor Bear."

The Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday that Briles could speak with new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson after the Bears' Fiesta Bowl appearance against Central Florida. According to the Statesman, Briles was interested enough in the Longhorns job to take it if offered. 

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor University Bears looks on a the Dallas Cowboys take on the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Briles coached quarterback Ro
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

"Two sources, including one close to Briles, have told the Statesman that Briles would accept the Texas job if offered," Kirk Bohls and Brian Davis reported; though in fairness, Patterson never commented officially on his interest level with Briles. 

Still, Briles was one of a handful of coaches to be connected to the Texas job. Others included Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Louisville's Charlie Strong, Vanderbilt's James Franklin, UCLA's Jim Mora and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio. 

However, Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Mora is not leaving UCLA. 

Though Briles agreed to a 10-year extension in November, according to the Dallas Morning News, he was still considered a top candidate to succeed Mack Brown, who coached his final game last week in a 30-7 loss to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl after 16 seasons with the 'Horns. 

Briles has also loosely been connected to the Washington Redskins vacancy, where his former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III plays. 

But it doesn't appear Briles is going anywhere for now, in college or the NFL. It's a good thing too. Briles is a top-tier coach whose turnaround in Waco ranks among the best in the modern day era of college football. In six seasons with the Bears, Briles has compiled a 78-60 record. Baylor finished the 2013-14 season with an 11-2 record and its first Big 12 title. 

With the construction of a brand-new football stadium, Baylor is making a commitment to football that should have Bears fans excited. As long as Briles is coaching there, Baylor will be a competitor at the conference and national level for years to come. 


Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval.