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TCU to Hire Briles as OC

Sports

TCU football field | Image by Chad Robertson Media

TCU football program is expected to hire former Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles to the same role, replacing Garrett Riley, who left for the same job at Clemson after the Horned Frogs’ historic 2022-23 season.

TCU hired Riley after he led back-to-back top-15 offenses at SMU, and the Horned Frogs quickly became a force offensively. He was instrumental in reviving Max Duggan’s college career and allowed several players to have breakout seasons on an offense that brilliantly found the balance between a power running game and an Air Raid-based passing attack.

That balance was one of the elements head coach Sonny Dykes was looking for in his replacement along with ties to the state of Texas and a deep background in working with and developing quarterbacks.

Briles’ 2022 Arkansas offense averaged its most points per game since 2003 and was one of just three programs across the country to average more than 230 yards passing and 230 yards rushing per game.

Kendal Briles was named Baylor’s offensive coordinator in 2015 and helped the Bears lead the nation in scoring offense (48.1 points per game) and total offense (616.2 yards per game).

Since that time, Briles has held the same position with Florida Atlantic, the University of Houston, Florida State, and the University of Arkansas, in addition to serving as the quarterbacks’ coach at those places, and has been praised for the work he has done to improve struggling offenses.

He led a top 10 offense while at Houston, a top 15 offense at Arkansas, and added eight points per game to an abysmal offense in his only year at Florida State.

His Texas connections are also clear.

Briles is a native of Stephenville, played at the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Houston, and worked his way up as a member of his dad’s (former Baylor coach Art Briles) coaching staff. The older Briles and Dykes were assistant coaches at Texas Tech in the early 2000s under the late Mike Leach, who was one of the main innovators of the Air Raid offense.

Under Briles, Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson has had two consecutive years with at least 2,600 yards passing and at least 600 rushing yards and has 67 total touchdowns in his career. His predecessor, Feleipe Franks, also had one of the best years of his career working with Briles.

Other quarterbacks who Briles has helped to career years include D’Eriq King, James Blackman, Bryce Petty, and Nick Florence.

At Baylor, Briles had the opportunity to work with Petty, Florence, and Jarrett Stidham and was also on staff (but not the QBs coach) when Robert Griffin III was there.

During his first year as the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2012, Florence led the country with 4,309 passing yards, and Petty followed that as Baylor’s third all-time leading passer in just two seasons as the starter.

Additionally, Briles has coached many offensive players at other positions who have made it to the NFL.

In 2022, TCU’s offense ranked 27th in total offense (455 yards per game), 39th in passing (261.7 yards per game), 31st in rushing (193.3 yards per game), and ninth in scoring (38.8 points per game). Arkansas was 15th in total offense (471.4 yards per game), 63rd in passing (234.7 yards per game), seventh in rushing (236,7 yards per game), and 35th in scoring (32.5 points per game).

Arkansas is replacing Briles with Maryland’s Dan Enos, and TCU is expected to officially announce Briles as its offensive coordinator on Thursday.

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