Hours after an unidentified Grambling State official denied the football program had hired Art Briles as its next offensive coordinator, the school’s athletic director confirmed the ex-Baylor coach would be tabbed for the position.
Athletic director Trayvean Scott on Thursday told ESPN that Briles is the Tigers new offensive coordinator.
“I think the guy just wants to coach and lead men,” Scott said of Briles. “We’re not talking about a perfect situation or devaluing things done in the past and how it has affected people. He’s sympathetic and empathetic about what went on.”
He is replacing former offensive coordinator Ted White, who joined the Houston Texans coaching staff under new head coach Lovie Smith.
The announcement comes shortly after a school official with ties to the athletic department outright denied reports that Grambling had hired Briles, saying there is “no truth to this rumor” as first reported by television station KTAL in Shreveport, Louisiana on Wednesday night.
Briles, 66, has not coached in the college game since he was fired by Baylor following the 2016 season after an investigation determined that he and the football staff ignored allegations of sexual assault committed by several Baylor football players.
Also read: Report: Grambling targeting former Baylor head coach Art Briles for offensive coordinator
An NCAA investigation, however, did not find Baylor guilty because its inaction at the time did not violate bylaws set by the collegiate governing body.
During his eight seasons in Waco, Briles went 65-37 and won a pair of Big 12 championships during a run that led to four Top 25 finishes.
Briles last coached at Mount Vernon High School in Texas, where the team finished the season 20-6 and even reached the Class 3A Division I semifinals in 2020.
Before his time at Baylor, Briles was the head coach at the University of Houston from 2003-2007.
He has had previous coaching stops in the CFL and the Italian Football League.
Scott revealed that Hue Jackson, hired by the school in December, supported the bringing Briles on to his staff.
“I’m rooted in fact,” Scott said. “I know a lot of things are said and done. We felt it [was appropriate] to give him a chance to really redeem himself after understanding where the facts lie.”