BOCA RATON – Kendal Briles is an Owl. FAU doesn’t seem at all interested in having his more famous father Art anywhere near the program.
FAU athletic director Pat Chun wouldn’t even utter Art’s name when discussing Kendal’s hire – even when asked specifically about the former Baylor head coach.
“Kendal Briles is who we’ve hired,” Chun said. “There’s nothing to read into that other than the fact that he’s going to be the guy that’s going to be here.”
The vetting process for Kendal Briles, the Owls’ new offensive coordinator, included a conversation with NCAA regulators to gauge their assessment of the former Baylor assistant coach’s standing.
“We’ve gone through everything with the NCAA that was going on at Baylor,” Chun said. “We’re happy he’s here. We’re excited for him to get a fresh start here.”
The NCAA, along with local law enforcement agencies, spent the past year investigating sexual abuse allegations leveled at Baylor football players.
The school also hired a law firm to investigate the allegations and the subsequent report, which concluded athletic department officials helped cover-up assault allegations by female students against Baylor football players, led to the firing of university president Kenneth Starr and football coach Art Briles.
Kendal Briles, who served as the Bears offensive coordinator for the past year, didn’t receive any sanctions. Kendal, though, served a one-game suspension this season for improper contact with recruits.
FAU’s hiring of Kendal Briles prompted speculation that Art Briles, whose high-octane offense set records at Baylor, would also be spending time in Boca Raton.
Art Briles didn’t coach in 2016. Kendal Briles’ Baylor offense finished in the Top 10 in both scoring and total offense this past season.
FAU spent more time vetting Briles than it normally does for assistant coaches.
“We just want to make sure that in the brief amount of time you’re given that you do the due diligence necessary to make sure that we are bringing the right person into our situation here at FAU,” Chun said.
New FAU coach Lane Kiffin is still in the process of completing his coaching staff. His brother Chris will be the Owls’ defensive coordinator. Keynodo Hudson and Corey Batoon have been hired to coach defensive backs. Charlie Weis Jr. will be an offensive assistant.
Kiffin told three former FAU assistants, offensive line coach Garin Justice, wide receivers coach Dan Shula and defensive backs coach Corey Bell, that they would be considered for a position on his staff. According to several media reports Bell is heading to USF to be part of Charlie Strong’s staff, though the fact that the move hasn’t been announced publicly could mean FAU is making an effort to try to keep Bell – a valued recruiter of Miami-Dade County.
No decision has been announced regarding the status of Justice. Sources tell OwlAccess.com that Shula has been told he will not be retained.
FAU has yet to formerly introduce any of the newly-hired assistants.