TCU has found its new offensive coordinator.
The Horned Frogs announced Thursday that Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles would be moving west to Fort Worth. Briles replaces Garrett Riley after Riley left to become the offensive coordinator at Clemson.
Briles has been the Arkansas OC for the past three seasons under coach Sam Pittman. Arkansas averaged 6.4 yards per play in 2022 as the school went 7-6 and beat Kansas in the Liberty Bowl.
Before coaching at Arkansas, Briles was the offensive coordinator at Florida State in 2019 and at Houston the season before that. The 40-year-old son of embattled ex-Baylor coach Art Briles was on his father’s staff from 2008-16 and worked his way up from inside receivers coach to offensive coordinator and quarterback coach in his final two seasons with the Bears.
Kendal Briles stayed as Baylor’s offensive coordinator for the duration of the 2016 season after his father was fired before the season following an investigation into the handling of sexual assault accusations against members of the football team.
Arkansas dropped from 9-4 in 2021 to 7-6 in 2022 largely because of the team’s defense. The Razorbacks scored more than 30 points per game in each season with Briles on staff. But a defense that gave up 5.4 yards per play in 2021 gave up 6.5 yards per play in 2022.
In his time as an offensive coordinator at five different schools, including a stint at Florida Atlantic in 2017, Briles has shown an ability to adapt to his strengths with a creative run game as the focal point. Arkansas threw the ball 27 times a game in 2022 and rushed the ball more than 46 times per game for over five yards a carry.
A strong run game was the foundation for TCU’s push to the national title game in January. The Horned Frogs averaged over five yards a carry as a team and RB Kendre Miller rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and 17 TDs before missing the national title game because of a knee injury. QB Max Duggan and backup RB Emari Demercado combined to rush for over 1,000 yards and the Horned Frogs scored 37 rushing touchdowns.
The TCU offense will look different in 2023 as Duggan, Miller and WR Quentin Johnston head to the NFL. Chandler Morris started the 2022 season at QB before an injury and will be the likely starter in 2023. Demercado will be back and the team has added transfer WRs John Paul Richardson (Oklahoma State), JoJo Earle (Alabama), TE Jack Bech (LSU) and RB Trey Sanders (Alabama) to bolster the offense.