Baylor coach Art Briles released a statement on Friday professing his desire to remain at the university, even as rumors have linked him to the coaching openings at Texas and with the Washington Redskins.
“I have no desire to pursue other coaching positions,” Briles said in a statement posted on the university’s athletics web site shortly after noon. “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.”
Briles, 58, coached Baylor to its first Bowl Championship Series game this season, though it lost 52-42 to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday. The Bears finished 11-2 and broke an NCAA record with 681 points scored this season – an average of 52.4 points per game.
Born and raised in Texas, Briles coached at a variety of high schools before becoming Texas Tech’s running backs coach in 2000 and Houston’s coach in 2003. He became Baylor’s coach in 2008, and it seemed plausible that if Briles were to take another college coaching job, it would be at Texas.
But his connection with quarterback Robert Griffin III, whom he first recruited to Houston before moving to Baylor, made him a seemingly attractive candidate for the Redskins. They fired their coach, Mike Shanahan, on Monday and have begun a thorough process to find his successor.
General manager Bruce Allen interviewed Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Seattle on Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott in Charlotte on Saturday, according to a person familiar with the situation.
He also has requested interviews with Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, each of which are expected to happen next week, according to reports.
Bill Cowher, the former Pittsburgh Steelers coach, said in an appearance on CBS This Morning that “it’s highly unlikely any time in the near future you’ll see me coach.” Cowher, who left the Steelers after the 2006 season, has been working as a television analyst for CBS.
And, on Friday morning, ESPN reported the Redskins were set to interview Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ special coach from 2004 through 2008 while Allen was that team’s general manager.
It is likely the Redskins’ coaching search will be prolonged; several of Allen’s targets are currently coaching their teams in the playoffs.