Former Pitt defensive coordinator Phil Bennett explained to ESPN’s David Ubben exactly how he ended up accepting the Baylor defensive coordinator job.
Bennett was in Birmingham preparing for the bowl game when Art Briles called and said he wanted to move quickly.
Bennett said, “He goes, ‘Well, let me tell you how fast I'll be: I can be in Birmingham tomorrow.’ And I said, ‘Wow!’ He asked what my schedule was like, and it was Tuesday and I had an idea, I had some things going, and I told him, ‘Art, I think you've got it going on, but it will take a big commitment.’ He just told me to let him come down. When he came down, we practiced, he came up to my suite and we talked about a few things. I'm a guy that wants to know things. I want to know what I'm getting into. And when I told him what it would take, he told me, well this is what I've got. I said, "Well, this is what it will take."
“I wanted a commitment. I wanted to know how serious they were about getting better. I looked at the top pay of the coordinators and said ‘Hey, look, none of them have more experience than I do. I'll put my résumé against anybody.’ I said, ‘If we're going to do this, let's pay like it.’ It was a little variation from what they had to what I wanted, the number of years. I said, ‘I plan on this being my last job. Let's make this work.’ I talked about the staff, that I had to have control of the staff, who I'm going to be working with. He said, ‘Phil, we will get this done.’ I told him when he got it done to call me.
“I was a little bit shocked. He wasn't gone 10 minutes. On the way to the airport he says, ‘It's done.’ I said, ‘I'm in.’ That's how it went down.”
“I asked for a much larger salary and extended years and not a lot of assistant coaches get that. I'm going to have the final say on all the players -- all the defensive players we take.”
We have confirmed that Bennett will be in Waco when this crazy carousel begins next year.