MOUNT VERNON, Texas (AP) — An East Texas school superintendent is defending the decision to hire Art Briles to lead a high school program three years after the two-time Big 12 champion coach was fired by Baylor amid a sexual assault scandal.
Mount Vernon ISD Superintendent Jason McCullough said Tuesday in an interview with several television reporters that the district in the small community "vetted coach Briles to the best of our ability." But McCullough says the district didn't talk to any of the victims or anyone from the NCAA.
Briles has been with a professional team in Italy since last year. He had been unable to get a coaching job in the United States since he was fired after an external investigation revealed in May 2016 that Baylor had for years mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations by students, including some against football players.
Mount Vernon announced the hiring of Briles to a two-year contract on Friday evening going into the Memorial Day holiday weekend.