Art Briles is returning to coaching in 2018, according to his lawyer.
Fifteen months after Briles resigned from his Baylor post in shame amidst a sexual assault scandal that is still difficult to fathom, the 61-year-old has reportedly been contacted by multiple schools about a position next year.
“There’s no question this is one step toward him getting back into coaching,” his attorney Mark Lanier said, referencing Briles' removal as defendant in a Title IX case. “He did not want to get back into coaching until he finished through the legal system.”
Briles has lived and coached in Texas his entire life. He bounced around high school football from 1979-99 before becoming Texas Tech running backs coach in 2000. He took the Houston job in 2003 and jumped to Baylor in 2008, where he turned one of the worst programs in America into a national championship contender.
If he does return to the sidelines in 2018, where might be land? Here are five — purely speculative — potential options Art Briles.
The first — and best — of three options in Texas, the North Texas job could open if 39-year-old Seth Littrell has a strong season and leaves for a higher-profile job. The former Oklahoma running back and Power Five assistant at Arizona and North Carolina, among others, led a resurgence last year, going from one win in 2015 to five in 2016.
The geographical fit is obvious. Briles knows the area well from recruiting and his high school coaching days.
Sorry Florida Atlantic, but if Lane Kiffin is willing to take this job, he's willing to take another one, something a little higher on the food chain. Though it's possible he could turn the Owls into a legit contender in Conference USA in a couple years and wish to remain in Boca Raton, it's more likely he'd bail after a good season if a better option is available.
Briles' son is Kiffin's offensive coordinator. If Lane leaves, could Kendal Briles convince the administration to make it a family affair?
It's safe to assume K.C. Keeler has fielded a couple FBS offers — or at least gauging-interest calls — in his three years at Sam Houston State. He is 34-10 with two conference titles and two FCS semifinal appearances. If the 58-year-old has another strong season and wishes to try his hand at a low-level FBS program, might the Bearkats would get aggressive and hire Briles?
Like the North Texas job, the geographical fit is perfect. Huntsville sits in a triangle between Austin, Dallas and Houston, all metro areas Briles has recruited well in.
Everett Withers went 2-10 last season, his first as Texas State head coach after delivering back-to-back nine-win seasons at James Madison in 2014-15. At 54, he's on the older side but has more than enough experience to warrant consideration for another FBS head coaching opportunity (he went 7-6 at North Carolina in 2011).
Again, Briles staying in Texas makes the most sense, and a young FBS program looking for consistency is a good fit.
This is the wild card. Art Briles has never lived or coached anywhere but Texas, so why would he leave now for a struggling FCS team in Arkansas? He might have no other choice.
His lawyer did not specify which teams have called about 2018. For all we know, it could've been D3 or NAIA programs, or maybe a low-level FCS team who has topped six wins once in the last decade. Current Golden Lions' head coach Monte Coleman — a former Redskins' linebacker — is 38-62 in nine seasons, including 9-35 over the last four.