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Thursday February 20th, 2020 12:52AM

Florida State hires Houston's Kendal Briles as coordinator

By The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State has hired former Houston assistant Kendal Briles as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The school announced Briles' hiring on Sunday but did not disclose the terms. Briles replaces Walt Bell, who took the head coaching position at UMass earlier this month.

Briles resigned Saturday from Houston (8-5) after the Cougars finished the season with a 70-14 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars were No. 4 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring (46.4 points per game) and No. 6 in total offense (528.6 yards per game) in the regular season.

The 36-year-old Briles has been an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic (2017) and Baylor (2008-16), and he has spent the last four seasons as offensive coordinator — including the last two while guiding top-10 scoring offenses. Florida State said Briles would have "primary play-calling duties" under coach Willie Taggart, who prefers a spread, up-tempo offense that is similar to what Briles has run.

"He brings play-calling experience and familiarity with the type of scheme and tempo we will run, which is similar to the offenses he has coordinated," Taggart said in a statement. "His ability to recruit, manage an offensive staff, develop quarterbacks and make in-game adjustments will be beneficial to us as we evolve in our offense."

Florida State had an injury-depleted and ineffective offensive line this season, averaging just 21 points (114th among 130 FBS schools in scoring offense). That led in part to a 5-7 season that saw the Seminoles miss out on a bowl game for the first time since 1981.

Briles was on staff at Baylor when his father, Art, was fired in 2016 because of allegations of sexual assault by football players. Kendal Briles remained on staff after Baylor fired his father.

At FAU, the Owls ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense (40.6 points) and total offense (498.4 yards).

Florida State was often unable to find any rhythm with the offense last fall. But the Seminoles have some playmakers in tailback Cam Akers (a 1,000-yard rusher as a freshman in 2017) and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry (744 yards and eight touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2018).

The Seminoles also have two quarterbacks with starting experience in Deondre Francois and James Blackman. Francois, who graduated in December, is weighing whether to return, transfer or enter the NFL draft.

Broyles was a 2015 Broyles Award finalist in his first season as Baylor's offensive coordinator. The Broyles Award is presented to the nation's top assistant coach.

"I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity and appreciate coach Taggart's trust in me," Briles said in a statement. "I also appreciate him supporting my desire to finish this season at my alma mater by coaching in our bowl game yesterday. We both understand what this offense should be, and I have complete confidence in our ability to meet the goals he has for us."

___

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