MOUNT VERNON, Texas (KLTV) - Mount Vernon ISD’s decision to hire Art Briles, Baylor University’s former head football coach, may very well be the biggest thing to happen to the town’s football team since Don Meredith went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
Jason McCullough, the school district’s superintendent, defended the decision to hire Briles in an interview with East Texas News on Wednesday.
“As we went into this process, we knew we’d encounter some negativity and attention,” McCullough said. “We believe in our community, and we believe in our kids. We also believe in our parents, and we believe in the process.”
McCullough added that he believes Mount Vernon ISD’s leadership vetted Briles to the best of their ability.
The school board unanimously approved the decision to hire Briles on May 24, and the decision has been making national headlines.
“Well, just because of who it is, it’ll bring a lot more people here to town and more people to the games,” said Jason Olivas, a Mount Vernon high school football player. “And everybody thinks the past is the past; give him a second chance. I bet he’ll do good.”
Baylor University fired Briles three years ago as a result of a scandal that stemmed from allegations that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
According to ESPN, Briles said he did not cover up any reports of assaults by players. He also said he encouraged the women involved in the allegations to go to the police.
Briles won four state championships at Stephenville ISD in the 1990s before going on to Texas Tech and the University of Houston before landing at Baylor. He led the Bears to Big 12 titles in 2013 and 2014.
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