Baylor football cleared the coaching staff in 2016 after hiring head coach Matt Rhule, and following a university-wide Title IX scandal that led to the firing of university president Ken Starr and football coach Art Briles.
Briles still remains without a coaching job. However, his assistants – who were not directly implicated in the Pepper Hamilton report – have eventually found their way back to the sport.
Some of the assistants faced backlash after getting hired. Others had to coach at a lower level first. Now, seven of the nine assistants coach at the college level once again.
Here’s where all nine former Baylor assistant coaches from the 2016 staff are now.
Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles
Where is he now: Houston offensive coordinator
Kendal Briles served several different positions under his father at Baylor, and eventually took over the coordinator job in 2015 after Phil Montgomery took the Tulsa job. Soon after the 2016 season ended, Lane Kiffin hired the younger Briles at FAU. He helped transform the offense into one of the nation’s best and led the Owls to an 11-3 record and conference title. Soon after, Kendal Briles took the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach position at Houston, his alma mater, under Major Applewhite. Briles was the most controversial hire of this group, but both FAU and Houston made clear that they felt comfortable with hiring the younger Briles.
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett
Where is he now: Retired
Former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett was among the first assistants to get a job. He quickly joined Todd Graham at Arizona State, where he served in the same role for the 2017 season. Arizona State hoped to keep him on board with new head coach Herm Edwards, but Bennett ultimately decided to step away from the game for now.
Offensive line coach Randy Clements
Where is he now: Houston run game coordinator/OL coach
Randy Clements, who served on Art Briles’ staff all the way from Stephenville to Baylor, coached a year at Southeastern University as offensive line coach. After a wildly successful year at the NAIA, Clements joined Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator and run game coordinator at Houston under Applewhite.
Running backs coach Jeff Lebby
Where is he now: UCF quarterbacks coach
Jeff Lebby, who is married to Briles’ daughter, served in many different roles at Baylor. He joined Clements at Southeastern and served as the offensive coordinator for the NAIA school. Southeastern had the No. 1 scoring offense and No. 3 total offense in the NAIA under Lebby’s tenure. His success made him an attractive candidate for new UCF coach Josh Heupel, who took over the program after Scott Frost’s departure. Lebby will coach star quarterback McKenzie Milton in 2018.
Linebackers coach Jim Gush
Where is he now: Navarro Junior College head coach
Jim Gush had 12 years of experience at Garden City Community College in Kansas before coming to Baylor. He also served several years on different Phil Bennett staffs, including as defensive coordinator at SMU. After Baylor, Gush earned the defensive coordinator job at Navarro Community College in Corsicana, Texas. A year later, Gush was bumped to the head coaching job. Navarro is consistently an elite producer of college football talent. Former Baylor lineman Mo Porter played at Navarro.
Defensive line coach Chris Achuff
Where is he now: Arizona Cardinals assistant defensive line coach
Defensive line special Chris Achuff joined Gush at Navarro for one season in the same position. However, he earned a spot on an NFL staff for the first time in 2018. New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks hired Achuff as assistant defensive line coach behind veteran assistant Don Johnson. In the months since, Achuff helped former defensive end K.J. Smith get an undrafted free agent contract with the Cardinals.
Cornerback coach Carlton Buckels
Where is he now: Tulsa safeties coach
Defensive back coach Carlton Buckels opted to lean on familiarity for his next job. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Belhaven University, Buckels joined former Baylor offensive coordinator Phil Montgomery at Tulsa, where he’ll serve as safeties coach. He replaces former Baylor assistant Brian Norwood, who served in the position last season.
Wide receiver coach Tate Wallis
Where is he now: Argyle High School
Former national wide receiver coach of the year Tate Wallis has general flown under the radar since his Baylor days. However, the Dallas Morning News’ Ben Baby reported that Wallis is now an assistant at Argyle High School in Texas. He also served for a stint at North Forney, per Baby. At this time, he is still listed on the North Forney website.
Safeties coach Cris Dishman
Where is he now: Private DB coach
Former NFL All-Pro cornerback Cris Dishman spoke to 247Sports about his difficulty finding full-time work. He got somewhat unlucky, as he coached just one year with the program before the Title IX issues boiled over. Dishman opted to get into the market of training younger defensive backs. He now runs the G.O.A.T. Skills Camp, which brings together some of the best NFL players ever to coach young players. His camps have featured such NFL luminaries as Mike Singletary, Warren Moon, Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders.