It Looks Like Kendal Briles Going To The Well One Too Many Times Led To His Exit – Best Of Arkansas Sports

It Looks Like Kendal Briles Going To The Well One Too Many Times Led To His Exit – Best Of Arkansas Sports

Kendal Briles, Arkansas FootballPhoto credit: Nick Wenger

Now that Kendal Briles has been signed, sealed, and shipped to TCU, it would be easy to write about his time in Arkansas in the past tense, something along the lines of “Now that the Kendal Briles Razorback era is over…”

Except that, as his successor demonstrates, things in college football’s tight-knit coaching community get downright circular in a fun way. When Dan Enos left Fayetteville for the wintry climes of Michigan in 2017 after a less-than-stellar last season with Bret Bielema, few expected that he would one day return to the same position.

And yet here he is, back in Arkansas, just a month and a half after his wife cleared up hearsay that he had fallen out with then-offensive line coach Sam Pittman. “We loved it in Fayetteville,” tweeted Jane Enos. “Have to go. I’m sorry but that’s just a record I had to correct. I think the world of Sam and Jamie, and I know my husband does too.”

Perhaps one day we’ll get more insight from the families involved into what went on behind closed doors and caused Kendal Briles to leave Arkansas after broadcasting on January 5 that he was ready to direct it in 2023 with KJ Jefferson.

The backstory behind the departure of Kendal Briles

For now, however, Arkansas football insiders pretty much control that narrative, and the story they tell is one of the apparent hyperbole of Briles and his agent Jimmy Sexton.

That started in early January when Briles agreed to a raise that was speculated to be in the $1.7 million range from the Mississippi state flirt.

Then, late last week, TCU emerged as a bidder with a higher offer. According to Buzz 103.7 FM’s Randy Rainwater, Briles’ representation “apparently backed off and said, ‘Okay, do you want to counter TCU?’ That’s where coach Sam Pittman, backed by Hunter Yurachek, basically said, “Let’s go Jack,” and then they went on. I hear that now.”

Rainwater, while airing Wednesday’s DriveTime Sports Show, then asked Arkansas football reporter Trey Biddy to confirm.

Biddy responded that that’s “pretty much what I’m hearing” and that Pittman had already surfaced a potential replacement (we now know it’s Enos) from the Mississippi state flirt. (Sexton is also Pittman’s agent, so it seems in his best interest to ensure Pittman is not left out of the blue.) The parties agreed that Briles’ official announcement was best to wait until the window of the United States transfer portal is officially closed.

In another part, Biddy added: “I’ve been told that the Briles family is really devastated that she has to go, even though they knew they would eventually. They really love Northwest Arkansas. You have a lot of friends here. This was Kendal’s longest stop. Obviously they have [three] Children. This was his longest stay since the Baylor days. So it wasn’t an easy deal for them, but I’ve heard Pittman pretty much just say, “We have to move on,” and I think basically [got] tired of it.”

Had Briles stayed for a fourth straight season, he would have been the longest-serving offensive coordinator in Arkansas football history. The two coordinators who stayed longer on the mound both worked on the defensive side of the ball: Fred Goldsmith (1984-88) and Joe Kines (1991-94).

It looks like Enos will set the overall record for the position by serving a fourth season as Razorback offense coordinator in 2023.

A conspiracy theory by Jimmy Sexton

Locked on Razorbacks host John Nabors shared a rather insane theory/imagined historical re-enactment of how Sexton stirred the pot to make the move.

Before we get into that, Sexton is a power broker of the highest order in the SEC. He and his football division at Creative Artist Agency represent almost every head coach in the league and often play a large role in both salary negotiations and staffing, as Hugh Freeze made so clear after arriving in Auburn in late November.

Freeze boasted about all the “big college coaches that wanted to come to this place,” before adding, “It’s going to be very difficult to decide. The key factor will be assembling people who complement each other and drive the culture. I have a list of people and my agent Jimmy Sexton also gave me a whole list of trainers he trusts.”

However, “trust” isn’t the word that best describes how John Nabors feels about Sexton.

The Arkansas sports radio host imagines that Sexton didn’t think the raise Arkansas Briles offered in response to Mississippi State’s interest was big enough, so he decided TCU was a good prospect for his due to the departure of their former offensive coordinator Clients was for Clemson as well as his historic rivalry with Baylor and recent success.

“Hey, TCU, Sonny. Sonny Dykes.” “Yes, I’m Jimmy Sexton. My guy over here, Kendall Briles, might be interested in your job,” Nabors says on the following podcast, exaggerating how the imaginary conversation went. “Well, I don’t know if we’re interested in him.” “Okay, that’s great, thanks. Many Thanks. All right, you in the media. Yes, you over at TCU Media, there is some interest here.”

“There’s some interest here, and Kendal and TCU might want to talk about it.” “Oh, really? Okay. Yes, let me write it down.” Well done. Make sure you tweet it. Tweet it and get a lot of people talking about it.”

Watch the rest of Nabors’ entertaining rendition of Sexton’s List here:

More from Biddy on the situation at Kendal Briles at 1:36 below:

h/t David Shaffer

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