GLENDALE, Ariz. — Texas Rangers owner and Baylor benefactor Bob Simpson said he’s hopeful Briles will remain at Baylor. At this point, Simpson admitted there’s nothing the school can really do to stop Texas or anyone else from stealing him away.
The school has already given Briles a new 10-year contract extension, which includes a hefty buyout clause.
A new on-campus stadium should be completed by the start of the 2014 season. There are spacious workout facilities, a nutrition center and all the bells and whistles associated with a top-tier program.
“It boils down to preference at this point,” Simpson said late Wednesday after Baylor lost to Central Florida, 52-42, in the Fiesta Bowl. “And we’ve stepped up. That’s in a man’s own heart and I’m not that man. But all indications from our friendship is that he’s going to stay.”
The Bears were going to stay the night in their Scottsdale hotel and fly back to Waco at 8:45 a.m. Thursday. Briles was expected to be on that team charter.
A source close Briles told the American-Statesman that the coach would be interested in talking with Texas athletic director Steve Patterson now that Baylor’s season is complete. But will Patterson want to talk to Briles? That is unknown.
“I’ve got a lot of UT friends, and I understand you’re wanting to come after our coach,” Simpson said. “But I’m hopeful it won’t happen. We’ve done everything we can here at Baylor to help take care of him. I’m hopeful, but I don’t blame them. He’s a really good coach.”
Simpson believes Briles is a better fit at Baylor “rather than playing politics” at a school like Texas. Simpson also realizes it’s a compliment when people want to hire away your coach.
“When you’ve got somebody good as he is, the world’s going to come after him,” Simpson said. “If we survive this one, there’ll be more.”
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