Briles, TCU reportedly nearing deal

For the second time in the month of January, Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles is rumored to be the leading candidate for the same position at a different school — this time the national runner-up TCU Horned Frogs.

FootballScoop’s John Brice released a story Wednesday morning stating that a deal will be reached between Briles and TCU “barring any unforeseen snags.”

Sources told HawgBeat earlier in the week that if an announcement is made, it will likely be delayed until Thursday, which is after the closing of the NCAA Transfer Portal on Wednesday at midnight.

Following reports that Briles was considering a move to Mississippi State earlier in the month, he tweeted out that he was “Looking forward to 2023 with @kj_jefferson2,” on Jan 5.

Head coach Sam Pittman praised Briles for his loyalty to the Hogs after he was pursued by Miami (FL) last offseason. Briles’ earned a pay raise to $1.2 million in March 2022, and that number bumped up to $1.25 million at the start of the year. He was thought to be working on an extension/new deal with the Razorbacks after the Mississippi State situation, but no official word has come out on that.

Briles, who also served as Arkansas’ quarterbacks coach, has been in Fayetteville since Pittman took over in Dec. 2019. His offense ranked 35th nationally in points per game (32.5) and 16th in total yards (471.4) this season. The Hogs averaged 21.4 points per game and gained 340.1 yards per game in 2019, the year prior to Briles’ arrival.

Arkansas’ 6,128 total yards of offense this season was the second most in a single season in program history (the 2010 team had 6,273). The team’s 471.4 total yards of offense per game ranked second in school history and the 6.37 yards per play is tied with the 2021 team for fifth best in the team’s record book.

Prior to his time at Arkansas, Briles served many different offensive coaching roles, including being offensive coordinator at Baylor (2015-16), Florida Atlantic (2017), Houston (2018) and Florida State (2019). Briles was born and raised in the state of Texas, and he also attended college at Texas and Houston, where played safety and wide receiver, respectively.

TCU is looking to replace former offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, who left Friday to take the same position at Clemson. The Horned Frogs finished their 2022 campaign with a 65-7 loss to Georgia in the national championship game on Jan. 9.

If Briles does leave Arkansas, head coach Sam Pittman will have to hire a new offensive coordinator for the second time in his tenure with the Hogs, as Briles joined Pittman when he took over prior to the 2020 season and has been with him since.

Pittman has already hired three new assistants and a new strength and conditioning coach, and the Hogs have lost a total of four assistants — DC Barry Odom, LB coach Michael Scherer, TE coach Dowell Loggains and CB coach Dominique Bowman, as well as former strength and conditioning coach Jamil Walker.

For more on the current assistant coaches and their salaries, click here.