The Baylor Bears used to be the laughingstock of the Big 12 conference, but coach Art Briles has lifted them to the top. The private university thanked him by giving him a new 10-year deal that goes into effect after this season. Briles is very happy with the deal and wants to remain at Baylor.
“It allows us to do what our job is, concentrate on Texas Tech this Saturday,” Briles said. “We feel fortunate to be at Baylor and are glad the feeling is mutual.”
The extension also may have been a sign that other schools–like Texas or USC–may have been in pursuit of one of the best coaches in today’s game. The Bears are the conference’s only undefeated team and ranked #5 in the BCS and #4 in the AP poll. They have won 12 games in a row which includes a game against usual powerhouse Oklahoma University. After Texas Tech this weekend they play against #12 Oklahoma State University and TCU. They end their season on December 7 against #24 University of Texas.
Briles took over in 2009, but they did not rise until 2010. They had their first ever winning season as a Big 12 team, went to their first bowl game in over 16 years and quarterback Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy. It was their first 10 win season in 31 years. Next season they play at their brand new on-campus stadium.
Athletic director Ian McCaw is pleased with Briles and wants him to stick around for a long time.
“To his credit, Art’s created something here that’s really special, and we hope he’s going to see it through to the final line,” McCaw said then.
“Obviously, his track record was tremendous, but the things that were especially appealing about him were his ability to turn around programs,” McCaw told the AP last month. “What he did at Stephenville High, taking over a program that really had never won, leading them to four state championships, taking over Houston when they were 0-11 and taking them to four bowl games. It takes a unique coach to be able to lead that kind of a turnaround, and he’s got the makeup to do it. And he’s done it again at Baylor.”