FSU hires Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Kendal Briles has been hired to be Florida State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, head coach Willie Taggart announced Sunday.
“I’m excited about the addition of Kendal to our staff,” Taggart said. “He brings play-calling experience and familiarity with the type of scheme and tempo we will run, which is similar to the offenses he has coordinated. His ability to recruit, manage an offensive staff, develop quarterbacks and make in-game adjustments will be beneficial to us as we evolve in our offense. Kendal has success at the Power 5 level and has also shown his adaptability to personnel and situations that occur during a season. He had multiple opportunities following the 2018 season and we feel the fit here will be a good one.”
Briles, who will have primary play-calling duties, comes to FSU having served as an offensive coordinator at Baylor during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Florida Atlantic in 2017 and Houston in 2018. He took over play-calling responsibilities prior to the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 2014 season, and in his first game the Bears passed for 601 yards, an NCAA bowl record, and scored 41 points on a Michigan State defense that entered the game allowing an average of 19.9 points per game. Beginning with that game, his offenses have averaged 41.8 points per game over the last four years.
“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity and appreciate Coach Taggart’s trust in me,” Briles said. “I also appreciate him supporting my desire to finish this season at my alma mater by coaching in our bowl game yesterday. We both understand what this offense should be, and I have complete confidence in our ability to meet the goals he has for us. Sarah and I are excited to be part of Florida State and are looking forward to integrating ourselves within the Tallahassee and FSU communities.”
Briles coordinated one of the most explosive offenses in the nation in 2018. Under his direction, Houston averaged 43.9 points per game, ranking sixth in the nation, and 512.3 yards of total offense, the eighth-highest total in FBS. The Cougars were one of two teams to rank in the top-25 in passing and rushing offense, averaging 295.5 passing yards and 216.8 rushing yards per game to rank 16th and 23rd, respectively. The offense scored at least 30 points in each of the first 12 games, including an NCAA-best 10 games of at least 40 points, and scored in 47 of 52 quarters in 2018. Houston opened the season with a program-record eight straight games of 40 points or more. The Cougars had 42 scoring drives of less than two minutes, which more than doubled their 2017 total of 18. Houston also ranked fourth in the country with 92 plays of 20-plus yards, and its 44 plays covering at least 30 yards were fifth in FBS.
Junior quarterback D’Eriq King flourished under Briles’ direction, putting together one of the best seasons in the nation. King, who was injured in the team’s 11th game, needed only 10 games to break the American Athletic Conference’s single-season touchdown responsibility record with 50. His average of 27.5 points responsible for per game led the nation and was four points higher than the next-closest competitor, Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins. King also led the AAC in total offense, passing touchdowns, passing efficiency and completion percentage. His 36 passing touchdowns ranked fifth in the nation, while his pass efficiency rating of 167.0 and his 332.4 yards of total offense per game ranked seventh. King, who was a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award, had at least two passing touchdowns and one rushing score in all 10 games he finished in 2018, the longest streak by an FBS player in more than 20 years, and against USF became only the 13th player in FBS history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game.
At FAU, Briles directed an offense that ranked sixth in the country with an average of 285.3 rushing yards per game, eighth with an average of 40.6 points per game and ninth with 498.4 yards of total offense per game. He helped lead an Owls team that won three games the year before to an 11-3 record, the program’s first Conference USA championship and a victory in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Running back Devin Singletary became FAU’s first Associated Press All-American and was named C-USA MVP after leading the nation with a program- and conference-record 32 rushing touchdowns, the third-highest total in FBS history, and 33 total touchdowns. Singletary also ranked fourth in the country with 1,920 rushing yards, the fifth-highest total all-time in C-USA. Quarterback Jason Driskel led C-USA in completion percentage, with the sixth-best percentage in FBS, and passing efficiency.
Briles spent the first nine years of his coaching career at Baylor helping elevate the program to historic heights, including back-to-back Big 12 championships, behind a record-setting offense. He served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for his final two seasons following three years as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach and four seasons coaching inside receivers. He also was the recruiting coordinator from 2012-14 after coordinating the offense’s recruiting efforts from 2008-11 and was named the Big 12’s Recruiter of the Year in 2013 and 2014.
In 2015, Briles was a finalist for the Broyles Award after his first season coordinating Baylor’s offense resulted in the Bears leading the NCAA with 48.1 points per game and 616.2 yards of total offense while also ranking second with 326.7 rushing yards per game. That year, guard Spencer Drago was a unanimous All-American and receiver Corey Coleman won the Biletnikoff Award as those two highlighted nine offensive players on the All-Big 12 teams. Baylor ended the season by rolling up an NCAA bowl-record 645 rushing yards and a Russell Athletic Bowl-record 756 yards of total offense to defeat No. 10 North Carolina. The 2016 team led the Big 12 in rushing offense and tackles for loss allowed and advanced to a bowl game for a school-record eighth straight season.
During his seven years as the Bears’ wide receivers coach, he tutored four All-Americans and five eventual NFL receivers, including Terrance Williams and Kendall Wright. Williams, who was a third-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft, broke the Baylor single-season receiving record and led the nation with 1,832 yards on his way to being only the sixth unanimous All-American in program history. Wright, the 20th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, was an All-American in 2011 and broke every major school receiving record.
As a quarterback in high school, Briles was named the Texas 4A Offensive Player of the Year in each of his final two seasons, during which he piled up 9,322 yards of total offense and accounted for 98 touchdowns. Briles began his collegiate playing career at Texas, where he redshirted in 2001 before appearing in seven games at safety and intercepting two passes as a redshirt freshman. He transferred to Houston and moved to wide receiver, grabbing 70 receptions for 680 yards and one touchdown. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Houston in 2005 and was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Briles and his wife, Sarah, have two sons, Jaytn and Kru, and one daughter, Kinley.
Kendal Briles Coaching History
2019- Florida State Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
2018 Houston Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach
2017 Florida Atlantic Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach
2015-16 Baylor Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
2012-14 Baylor Passing Game Coordinator/WR Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2008-11 Baylor Inside Receivers Coach/Offensive Recruiting Coordinator
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