Florida State has hired Houston offensive coordinator Kendal Briles to replace Walt Bell as the Seminoles’ offensive coordinator per multiple reports.
Bell left for the head coaching position at UMass on Dec. 3.
Briles, 36, was the offensive coordinator at UH for one season. He was hired by the Cougars from Florida Atlantic where he was the offensive coordinator in 2017.
He resigned following Houston’s 70-14 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl Saturday. The Democrat was one of multiple news organizations that reported Briles was the frontrunner for the job and was expected to be hired at FSU.
Yahoo Sports’s Pete Thamel is reporting that Briles’ buyout at Houston will be $850,000.
Prior to his time as the offensive coordinator at FAU, Briles spent two years as the offensive coordinator at Baylor. He worked under interim Baylor coach Jim Grobe in 2016 and his father Art Briles in 2015 as the offensive coordinator.
He worked at Baylor from 2008-2016, including 2011-2014 when the Baylor sexual assault scandal, which covered 52 alleged rapes by 31 football players, was taking place.
Art Briles was fired, along with the Athletic Director and President, due to the scandal. But Kendal Briles was kept on staff one more season by Grobe as Baylor searched for a new head coach.
It has never been proven that Briles had any knowledge of the wrongdoings at Baylor. However, he was accused of allegedly telling a recruit “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”
When Briles was hired by Lane Kiffin, the FAU President came out and stated that the University “didn’t find anything that we would be concerned about at that time” regarding Briles’ tenure at Baylor.
His contract at UH included a morality clause that stated he could be fired for cause if he “participates in any act that may bring undue criticism or discredit to UH.”
Briles received a three-year contract extension from Houston worth $2.1 million in November. The buyout for his contract could be as much as 50 percent of his remaining salary, according to the contract.
On the football field, Briles is one of the best offensive play callers in college football.
Houston finished the regular season with the 11th ranked offense in yards per play (6.77) and the 11th ranked offense in the S&P+. In his one year as the offensive coordinator at FAU, Briles’ offense finished sixth in the S&P+ rankings.
Baylor finished 38th in the S&P+ offense rankings in 2016 after his father was fired and a mass exodus of Baylor players commenced, including starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
Baylor had the No. 2 ranked offense in the S&P+ rankings in 2015 in Briles’ first year as offensive coordinator. The offense put up 48.1 points per game – which led college football by three points over Texas Tech (45.1) – and 7.26 yards per play, which was second in college football.
FSU coach Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast Offense is partially built on the Baylor offense. He spent time at Baylor in 2015 and implemented some of the scheme into the offense he was building.
Most notably the wide splits by the wide receivers that forced the defense to spread out and declare what it wanted to do before the snap.
FSU’s offense struggled in 2018 behind a porous, injury-riddled offensive line that limited what Taggart and Bell were able to do on the offensive side of the ball.
Taggart called plays for the first eight games of the season, but relinquished some of those duties to Bell over the final four games of the season.
The Seminoles averaged just 21.9 points per game and just 5.12 yards per play, and FSU’s run game was the second worst in college football and the worst among all Power Five teams averaging just 2.79 yards per play.
None of Briles’ offenses averaged under 6.1 yards per play during his four years as an offensive coordinator. His offense averaged over 6.75 yards per play in 2015, 2017, and 2018.