Kendal Briles is leaving Arkansas to become the offensive coordinator at TCU, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
An official announcement is expected Thursday.
Briles, 40, has been the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach the past three seasons at Arkansas, which experienced an offensive upheaval under Briles. The Hogs finished 15th nationally in total offense this past season while averaging 32.5 points per game and 30.9 points in 2021, which was the most at Arkansas since the 2015 season. The Hogs averaged just 21.4 points per game in 2019, the year before Briles arrived.
Arkansas was seventh nationally in rushing offense in 2022 (236.5 yards per game). The Hogs’ 3,075 rushing yards were their most since the 2003 season. Briles also enhanced Arkansas’ passing game and its balance on offense. The Hogs were one of three FBS teams in 2022 (Ole Miss and UCLA the others) to average more than 230 rushing yards and 230 passing yards per game.
Briles replaces Garrett Riley at TCU. Riley left last week to be the offensive coordinator at Clemson. At TCU, Briles joins one of the top offensive-minded head coaches in the country in Sonny Dykes, who’s entering his second season in Fort Worth. Dykes took the Horned Frogs to the College Football Playoff national championship game this past season; they lost 65-7 to Georgia.
Over the past two years, Briles has had chances to leave Arkansas for other jobs. Miami came after him a year ago, but he stayed put. And then last month, Briles turned down overtures from Mississippi State.
This will be Briles’ sixth stint as an offensive coordinator. He was with his father, Art Briles, at Baylor as wide receivers coach, then passing game coordinator and then offensive quarterback/quarterbacks coach in 2015 when he was a finalist for the Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the country.
Art Briles was fired before the 2016 season in the wake of a sexual assault scandal at Baylor that also led to the firing and/or resignation of the school’s president and athletic director. Kendal Briles, who was not directly implicated in any wrongdoing, stayed on as offensive coordinator under Jim Grobe in 2016 before going to Florida Atlantic as offensive coordinator in 2017, Houston as offensive coordinator in 2018 and Florida State as offensive coordinator in 2019.
Art Briles and Dykes worked together on the Texas Tech staff from 2000 to 2002 under Mike Leach.
Arkansas’ coaching staff has undergone major turnover this offseason, including both coordinators. Barry Odom took the UNLV head coaching job. Arkansas coach Sam Pittman hired Travis Williams from UCF and Marcus Woodson from Florida State as co-defensive coordinators after linebackers coach Michael Scherer went with Odom to be defensive coordinator at UNLV. Tight ends coach Dowell Loggains left to become the offensive coordinator at South Carolina, and Pittman fired his strength coach, Ben Sowders, and replaced him with Jamil Walker.