The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League decided not to hire former Baylor coach Art Briles on Monday night after announcing he was joining the coaching staff as an offensive assistant earlier in the day.
Briles was set to join the staff of June Jones, who became the Tiger-Cats head coach last Thursday after former coach Kent Austin went 0-8 this season.
But after much public backlash following the announcement, the Tiger-Cats management announced in a press release that it had backtracked on its earlier decision to hire Briles.
“Art Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach. We came to this decision this evening following a lengthy discussion between the league and the Hamilton organization. We wish Mr. Briles all the best in his future endeavors.”
Briles was dismissed at Baylor on May 26, 2016, for the mishandling of sexual assault issues after Baylor’s regents were briefed on the results of an investigation by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton.
Numerous observers on social media disapproved of the Tiger-Cats hiring Briles, including Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor who has spoken to college teams across the country on sexual assault issues. She spoke to the Baylor football team in 2016 following Briles’ firing.
“Out of respect, the noble and decent thing would have been for Art Briles to voluntarily retire from football,” Tracy said Monday on her Twitter account. “June Jones is bringing the ugly ‘win-at-all-costs’ style of American football to Canada.”
Briles guided Baylor to unprecedented success during his eight seasons as head coach, including Big 12 championships in 2013-14. He led the Bears to a school-record six straight bowl appearances from 2010-15. During his final five seasons, the Bears went 50-15.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats position would have been the 61-year-old Briles’ first coaching job outside of Texas.
After graduating from Texas Tech in 1979, Briles coached at five Texas high schools, including a 12-year stint at Stephenville, where he won four state championships.
Briles served as a Texas Tech offensive assistant from 2000-02 before getting his first college head coaching job with the Houston Cougars from 2002-07.