Purdue should seriously consider tabbing former Baylor head coach Art Briles as the next man to lead the program.
This may not be the popular opinion. I don’t care. Purdue should hire Art Briles, and here’s why:
He’s done this before
Believe it or not, Baylor was in a worse place when Art Briles took over in 2007 than Purdue is now. Prior to Briles first season in 2008, Baylor had won just 11 conference games over the last 12 seasons in the Big 12. The Bears had not been to a bowl game since 1994 and had not finished a season ranked in the Top 25 since 1986.
All in all, Briles took a program that compiled an 18-40 record under his predecessor and built it up to national relevance. The Bears went 65-37 under Briles winning back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2013 and 2014. Briles took Baylor to six straight bowl games (2010-2015) and won 10 or more games in 5 of his last 6 seasons.
He can recruit
According to Scout.com’s rankings, Baylor never finished worse than #55 (2008) in their annual rankings. Briles consistently had top-40 recruiting classes according to Scout. Keep in mind that his 2008 class included underrated players like Robert Griffin III, Terrence Williams, and Kendall Wright–all current NFL players.
If Art Briles was able to recruit at a program like Baylor that lacked much recent success, he will be able to recruit at Purdue.
He can coach
Anyone who has watched college football much in the last few years, knows that Baylor became an offensive powerhouse under Briles. We will save those numbers for another day. But suffice it to say that Purdue would at least be an exciting team under Briles.
What I more want to point out is what Briles was able to accomplish with the talent he brought in at Baylor. While Briles’ recruiting classes consistently ranked in the top-40, his highest ranked class was #23 overall (2014). Briles was able to turn good results on the recruiting trails into great results on the field. The Bears finish ranked #13 in the AP Top-25 in each of 2011, 2013, and 2015. Their highest year-end ranking under Briles came in 2014 when they finished the year ranked at #7, only the second Top-10 finish in school history.
Not only would Purdue produce an exciting brand of football under Briles, but they would develop the talent that comes into the program.
I understand there is baggage that comes with hiring Briles. Sexual assault is NOT something that should be taken lightly. That being said, I believe that Art Briles was made out to be the scapegoat at Baylor and was not actually responsible or knowledgeable of wrongdoing.
Bringing Art Briles in would be a huge signing for Purdue and new AD Mike Bobinski. I think it is a move that should be made. Briles has a reputation for rebuilding programs and he is exactly what Purdue needs.