UH head football coach Art Briles accepted a seven-year contract to coach for Baylor on Wednesday.
Baylor is reportedly offering Briles $1.8 million a year – roughly double the amount he earned at UH.
In a season of college football hiring and firing, it’s not entirely surprising that the fallout might affect UH. Briles will take the position of Baylor’s Guy Morriss, who was fired Nov. 18.
At the time of his UH hire, many considered drawing upon a high school football coach to be an unusual and risky move, but in his five-year tenure Briles, the 2006 Conference USA Coach of the Year, injected energy into a slacking program and took the Cougars to the Liberty Bowl and an invigorating C-USA championship, among other feats.
For many, the pairing of quarterback Kevin Kolb and Briles will remain an indelible college legacy – one that can make us all proud to be Cougars.
While we can’t knock Briles for moving on, we only wish he’d stay around for the University’s appearance in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium.
Instead, cornerback coach Chris Thurmond, named interim head coach by Athletics Director Dave Maggard, will lead the charge. We wish him the best.
Leaving the top of the C-USA for the bottom of the Big 12 is bad enough, but leaving the University hanging in our season finale bowl appearance only makes it hurt that much more. The Cougars have weathered an up-and-down season, and we hope that in the last performance of 2007 we can achieve victory at our first home bowl since 1974.
Ultimately, we should look for a coach who can sustain our offensive powerhouse while branching out in defense in special teams. A desire to solidify a recruitment campaign throughout Texas would be an added perk.
Some assistant coaches may follow in Briles’ footsteps and move on to Baylor, and others might remain behind. Time will tell. In the end, though, UH is now in a position to continue steamrolling our relatively underrated football team into greener pastures.