Art Briles, two years removed from being dumped by Baylor University amid dozens of sexual assault allegations against his players, has another job coaching football. Briles has been hired as head coach of Guelfi Firenze, a team in the Italian American Football League's first division, the team announced Thursday.
"We are thrilled that Coach Briles has accepted our offer and will be our head coach for the 2019 season. We are all excited about the opportunity of having a professional of his stature as our coach, and we can’t wait to welcome him on our Guelfi family starting from the offseason," Edoardo Cammi, Guelfi Firenze's general manager, said in a statement.
During his time at Baylor, Briles presided over a level of success previously unseen in Waco, leading the Bears to seven consecutive bowl games and helping quarterback Robert Griffin III win the school's first Heisman Trophy in 2011. He also oversaw a group of players who allegedly ran roughshod over Baylor's campus. So far, 10 lawsuits stemming from incidents allegedly occurring during Briles tenure have been filed against the school by a total of 22 women. Four of those lawsuits have been settled or dismissed.
"I believe that Coach Briles arriving to the Estra Guelfi Firenze will bring great benefits not only to our team, but also to the whole movement of American football in Italy. We can’t wait to welcome our new head coach at our Guelfi Sport Center, I am sure it will be an amazing experience," Alessandro Dallai, Guelfi Firenzi's president said Thursday.
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In August 2017, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League announced that they'd hired Briles as an assistant head coach, before backtracking on their decision later the same day under pressure from the league's commissioner.
“I am grateful to be back on the field coaching football, and doing what I love. Jan and I are excited to arrive in Italy for this new opportunity,” Briles said of his decision to move to Europe. “I will work tirelessly to make Guelfi Firenze a title contender.”
Guelfi Firenze is part of the Italian Football League's 12-team first division. They play in a 750-seat stadium in Florence, a far cry from Baylor's 45,000-capacity McLane Stadium. Games in the Italian league are played under American college football rules.