TCU hires Kendal Briles: Arkansas offensive coordinator takes on same role with Horned Frogs

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Arkansas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks Kendal Briles has taken the same role with TCU, the Horned Frogs announced Thursday. Briles returns to the Big 12 footprint for the first time since 2016 after a three-year stint with the Razorbacks. He arrives in the wake of Garrett Riley leaving his post as offensive coordinator to join Dabo Swinney’s staff at Clemson. Riley’s hire with the Tigers was made official last Friday, and with the 2023 recruiting cycle coming to a close early next month, TCU has moved quickly to identify and lock in his replacement.

Briles coached under his father, Art, at Baylor from 2008-16 where the Bears had some of the most prolific offenses in the country using elements of the Air Raid system. His time at Baylor came to a close with his father’s dismissal in the midst of a sexual assault scandal, and he proceeded to make quick stops at FAU (2017), Houston (2018) and Florida State (2019) before being hired by Sam Pittman as offensive coordinator for Arkansas in 2020.

Arkansas’ offense improved each year with Briles at the helm, and his Air Raid background makes for a stylistic fit with TCU coach Sonny Dykes. His return to the Big 12 and the state of Texas also opens up familiar territory for recruiting as the Horned Frogs seek to restock their roster and build towards another run at the College Football Playoff.

For Arkansas, Briles’ departure comes as yet another layer of coaching staff turnover for Sam Pittman heading into his fourth year leading the program. Defensive coordinator Barry Odom left to become the head coach at UNLV, and he took linebackers coach Michael Sherer with him to lead the Rebels’ defensive staff. Additionally, tight ends coach Dowell Loggains was hired away by South Carolina and cornerbacks coach Dominque Bowman resigned before eventually being hired for the same position at Temple.

Dan Enos, Arkansas’ new offensive coordinator, will have some built-in advantages thanks to the quarterback position: Star quarterback KJ Jefferson has announced his plans to return for 2023 along with star running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders.

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