Many were surprised when Kendal Briles resurfaced at FAU as an assistant coach on Lane Kiffin’s new staff.
The fallout from the Baylor’s implosion was expected to stick with Briles. Most expected it would be difficult for him to get another coaching job.
But Kiffin explained at Conference USA’s media days that FAU’s compliance office took extreme care in vetting his new offensive coordinator before his hiring.
Chris Hummer of 247sports.com said Kiffin praised their thoroughness before the hiring.
“They really handled that,” Kiffin said. “That was more from an athletic director standpoint to handling all that stuff – talking to him and talking to people there and going through it. Then they felt sure. I was more from a football standpoint, saying, ‘Hey, this is the guy I want to hire.’ Then they did the rest and said, ‘Hey, we feel comfortable about this.'”
Kendal Briles and the rest of his father’s Baylor staff were fired after last season.
Several weeks later, Kiffin said his administration was receptive to hiring Kendal Briles. No specific allegations had been leveled at him at the time.
“At the time it was not as magnified as the stuff is now,” Kiffin said. “It really wasn’t like it is now. These articles and stuff weren’t out there at the time. So there wasn’t a shock factor like now would be.”
Art Briles’ hiring torpedoed by previous events
Kiffin originally had thought about hiring Art Briles. But he decided against it because “there was too much risk” involved.
A month after Kendal Briles was hired, a report connected him to the “disturbing culture” that pervaded the Baylor football program. The report said a lawsuit alleged 52 rapes by football players in the Baylor football program, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald’s Phillip Ericksen.
The residue from that blight will remain on the Baylor program and Briles’ coaches for a long time.
But Kiffin, building a new program, moves forward with one of the brightest football minds on his staff — even with his previous baggage.