If you keep up with college football, you've probably heard of the Baylor Bears over the last few seasons. There's talk that they may actually have a shot at playing in a BCS Championship Game this season. Most credit this recent success to one man, Art Briles. You may wonder why an article about a college coach is on the Dallas Cowboys website, well read on. Briles has a very unique connection to the Cowboys versus Redskins rivalry.
Briles coached current Cowboys third-round draft pick Terrance Williams at Baylor. Williams led the nation in 2012 in receiving yards while at Baylor under Briles' tutelage.
Briles also coached former Heisman Trophy Winner, and now Washington Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin III at Baylor from 2009-2011 where he set numerous school records. The two maintain a strong relationship to this day. Briles was on the sideline last year when the Cowboys and Redskins faced off on Thanksgiving Day.
If you're wondering why Briles would chose to spend Thanksgiving Day (one of the few holidays a college coach can actually enjoy) with a former player instead of his family, well he did both. Jancy Briles, Art's daughter, works for the Dallas Cowboys. Jancy has been with the Cowboys public relations department for eight years. She attends every game that her schedule allows to support her dad and the Baylor Bears, including Saturday's game in Manhattan, Kansas against Kansas State.
Minutes after the Cowboys drafted Terrance Williams in the third round of the draft, a decision they made after numerous visits and phone calls to Coach Briles, the War Room actually called on another Briles opinion. Jancy was summoned to the War Room to give a little insight on their newest pick. Surprised and caught off guard, the media relations coordinator quickly reverted back to the coach's kid and quickly fired off "He's a great kid, with great speed, good hands and can stretch the field." The War Room erupted with cheer – as if the pick were now finally validated.
Art Briles' coaching success, along with the tragedy he overcame as a young man who lost his parents at the age of 20, has created interest in both the coach and the story behind the man. From time to time publishers and authors approached Briles about writing a book to document his life and career. Briles never felt quite right having someone document his life until he was approached by dallascowboys.com writer Nick Eatman.
Coach Briles considers Eatman a friend of the family and decided to give him a shot. Briles has since said on numerous radio interviews, "at some point, someone in our lives gives us a shot. I wanted to give Nick that opportunity."
As the late Paul Harvey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story."
If you're interested in "Art Briles: Looking Up: My Journey From Tragedy To Triumph", you can find it here www.artbrilesbook.comor in local book stores.