Art Briles Seemingly Content With Building At Baylor
By Ryan Wooden
It's not as if there's been a shortage of opportunities. There were rumors of interest from the deep-pocketed Texas Longhorns and other established football powers from across the country have come calling, but Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles has continuously decided to stay put.
Now, set to open up a brand new state-of-the-art facility on campus in 2014 and having become Nike's darling of the Deep South, Baylor is the kind of place where you can sustain success. But when Briles arrived in 2008 it was no such thing.
Not since the days of Grant Teaff and the Southwest Conference had the Baylor Bears been consistently competitive before the arrival of Art Briles. As a matter of fact, Baylor hadn't posted a single winning season since joining the Big 12 in 1996 and it went 11-85 in its first 12 seasons as a conference member.
In the six years since Briles arrived in Waco, Texas, they've won 25 games in the league (18 in the last three seasons alone). After Chuck Reedy, Dave Roberts, Kevin Steele and Guy Morriss all failed at Baylor, Briles has finally given rise to a proud program.
The variables that coalesced to make this possible seemingly are innumerable. Conference realignment, TV revenue and other factors all played a part, but it all rides on Briles' status as an innovator. He truly is The Architect.
That article by Chris Brown (aka @SmartFootball) highlights several of the innovative things Briles does that serve as pillars for what has evolved into one of the most prolific offenses in college football. The pre-packaged concepts, the read-option, the emphasis on widened splits to maximize their athletes' ability to play in space ... all these things converge to make Baylor college football's biggest offensive envelope-pusher.
The result: Baylor has won 29 games in the last three seasons and it is coming off its first-ever Big 12 championship. And, as the conference continues to evolve, it has positioned itself to be the league's dominant program.
The Bears' success is making them more formidable on the recruiting trail. They're going to draw sellout crowds into a beautiful new stadium. And as long as they've got Briles, they'll have every opportunity to continue to compete among the nation's elite. And at 58, with a new wealth of resources at his disposal, it doesn't appear as if Briles is going anywhere anytime soon.