Report: Kendal Briles hired as Florida State’s Offensive Coordinator

Multiple outlets are now reporting that Kendal Briles has agreed to become the next Offensive Coordinator at Florida State. It was first reported by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

The hire comes after an extensive search following Walt Bell’s departure to UMass earlier in December.

Willie Taggart made Briles his priority following Hugh Freeze’s decision to accept the Head Coach position at Liberty.

On paper, Briles appears to be the perfect person to take over Taggart’s Gulf Coast Offense. Several principles of Taggart’s offense come from the offense Baylor ran when Briles was the offensive coordinator in Waco.

The familiarity between Taggart and Briles should make for an easy transition in Tallahassee. While Taggart looks to patch together a serviceable offensive line through recruiting and development, Briles has to be excited about the skill talent he will have to work with at his new job.

Briles will have play-makers all over the field in guys like Cam Akers, Tamorrian Terry, DJ Matthews, Khalan Laborn and others. Everything is in place for this to be a high powered offense with just average offensive line play.

Briles history as a play-call speaks for itself in recent years. His Houston offense ranked 12th in the nation averaging 6.5 yards per play. Briles oversaw the 2017 FAU Owls offense which ranked 10th nationally averaging 6.7 yards per play. As Baylor’s offensive coordinator in 2015, his offense led the nation averaging 7.1 yards per play.

The hire shows that Taggart is more than willing to reevaluate himself and his staff as he is willing to hand over his offense to a coordinator as he moves into more of a CEO type role within the program.

Briles does come with some baggage as his name is tied to the Baylor sexual assault scandal. Florida State becomes the third different school to hire Briles since the scandal lessening any risk as he has now been interviewed and vetted by the NCAA, FAU, Houston and Florida State since his time at Baylor.

Briles is expected to be Florida State’s offensive coordinator with all responsibilities that come with the title. He will design the offense throughout the week, make key decisions on personnel and call the plays on game days.

Taggart will still have his say in the offense but will turn his main focus to managing the overall operations of the program similar to the way Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, and other elite head coaches have done in recent years.

This is the first of what is expected to be multiple coaching staff changes and realignments. Stay tuned to Nole Gameday as we continue to monitor that shuffling of staff members in the coming weeks.

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