In a move that will in no way inspire suspicion [sarcasm font] Art Briles tendered his resignation as the head coach at Mount Vernon High School on Monday.
"After coaching 42 games of football from Florence, Italy to Mount Vernon, Texas in the last 22 months, I respectfully resign as Head Football Coach and Athletic Director of the Mount Vernon Tigers," Briles wrote.
Briles led the northeast Texas town to the Class 3A Division I semifinals on Friday, losing to Tuscola Jim Ned.
More importantly, the move comes on the heels of a coordinated push to launder Briles's reputation as his allies attempt to launch a comeback at the college level. A prominent Baylor lawyer commissioned his own review of Briles's 2015 firing from Baylor, one that cast doubt on the process and the reasoning for dismissing the most successful coach of the program's Big 12 tenure.
Briles has been mentioned as a candidate for possible openings at Texas Tech, and has allies at each school. Briles is a Texas Tech graduate and a former Red Raiders running backs coach under Mike Leach, and former Baylor AD Ian McCaw now runs Liberty's athletics department.
Neither job is open at this time, but Texas Tech is deliberating whether to retain Matt Wells and Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze is a candidate for the open Auburn head coaching position (or other SEC jobs, should they open).
It remains to be seen if either Texas Tech or Liberty opens and if Briles is a real candidate for either opening, but Step 2 couldn't happen until Step 1 was completed, and Step 1 is now complete. (Update: Texas Tech will retain Matt Wells, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.)
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.