Briles: “I Am A Baylor Bear”

Baylor coach Art Briles sent out a succinct statement Friday that was apparently aimed at quieting speculation about whether he might leave Waco in search of greener pastures in Austin.

Art Briles (File)

WACO (January 3, 2014) Baylor University football coach Art Briles sent out a succinct and seemingly unequivocal statement Friday that appeared to be aimed at quieting speculation about whether he’s considering a move to Austin to succeed University of Texas coach Mack Brown.

“Contrary to reports and rumors I am a Baylor Bear - 2013 Big 12 Champs,” Briles tweeted Friday morning.

Later Friday morning, Briles released a statement through the university in which he said, “I have no desire to pursue other coaching positions,"

"As I've said many times, I am both humbled and honored to be the head coach at Baylor University, and believe we have something special going here. I look forward to leading the Bears onto the field next fall at McLane Stadium and defending our Big 12 championship that our players and coaches worked so hard to win this season,” he said.

After leading the Bears to an 11-1 season, the Big 12 Championship and Baylor's first BCS bowl appearance, Briles was widely considered to be a strong contender to succeed Brown, whose resignation after the Alamo Bowl ended a 16-year career at UT.

But various media outlets say that interest in Briles has waned in the wake of Baylor’s 52-42 Fiesta Bowl loss to the University of Central Florida.

UT has reportedly expressed strong interest in UCLA coach Jim Mora, Jr., and has already interviewed Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson wants to hire a new coach by Jan. 15, which is the ended of the so-called NCAA dead period, during which coaches are prohibited from contacting recruits in person during the bowl season.

During their final season in Floyd Casey Stadium, the Bears were ranked in the top 10 for eight straight weeks, shattered the NCAA record for points scored and set all-time attendance marks.

Briles received 2013 coach of the year honors from the league coaches as well as The Associated Press and Sporting News and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year awards.


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