Baylor met with Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson on Monday and the two sides are in the midst of negotiating towards a contract, sources told FootballScoop.
Baylor officially closed its regular season on Saturday, but, of course, the Bears have been searching for their new head coach since AD Mack Rhoades arrived in Waco from Missouri in July.
Anderson is in his third season as the head coach at Arkansas State, where he has compiled a 23-15 record while running up a 15-1 mark with two Sun Belt championships in the past two seasons. His departure would continue a string of recent Arkansas State coaches winning championships in Jonesboro before leaving to bigger programs, as former Red Wolves coaches Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss), Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and Bryan Harsin (Boise State) all did the same.
Anderson inked an extension at Arkansas State just two months ago.
Anderson's experience taking over a winning program and building on that success would be an obvious appeal to Rhodes as Baylor looks for a fresh start after the Art Briles regime reached unprecedented heights but ended in scandal. He also has a reputation of a head coach that other coaches want to work for.
Prior to Arkansas State, Anderson worked under head coach Larry Fedora at North Carolina and Southern Miss as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. A native of Hubbard, Texas, Anderson actually began his college career at Baylor from 1989-91 before an knee injury forced him to finish his career at Sam Houston State. In addition to his playing days in Waco, Anderson has Lone Star State experience through coaching stints at Howard Payne and Trinity Valley Community College.
One reason we feel pretty confident that Baylor can reach an agreement with Anderson, take a look at what he asked for when offered the A-State job.
Anderson is a program builder, a person Waco and the Baylor community can unite and rally behind. For a quick glimpse into how he interacts with his players jump to into this video.
Rhoades's mission from the start of his search was to find an offensive-minded coach that could successfully pitch Texas high school coaches in sending their players to Waco. With negotiations ongoing, it appears Rhoades has found his man in Anderson.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.