Dec. 19, 2007
Baylor head football coach Art Briles announced the hiring of six individuals to the Bears' staff Wednesday. Today's announcement, coupled with the Dec. 7 selection of defensive coordinator Brian Norwood from Penn State, leaves three coaching positions that will be filled following the college bowl season. The Bears' football operations staff will be announced at a later date.
The offensive staff includes Randy Clements and Phillip Montgomery, who coached alongside Art Briles at both the University of Houston and Stephenville (Texas) High School. They will continue to serve as co-offensive coordinators. Two other positions remain to be filled.
The Bears' defensive staff includes Norwood, defensive tackles coach Chris Achuff, secondary coach Kendall Briles and linebackers coach Larry Hoefer. There is one position remaining to be filled on the defensive side of the ball.
In addition, University of South Florida football strength and conditioning coach Kaz Kazadi has been selected to lead the Bears' strength and conditioning program.
"What I look for (in assistant coaches) is the same thing I look for in our players," Briles said. "I want people that want to be at Baylor University, that have great drive, ambition and hope. Those things coincide with great intelligence, work ethic and great belief.
"All of those intangibles and factors that determine a person and a personality encompass what a good coach or player is," he added. That's what I look for and what I've found. All of these gentlemen are great people that are passionate about the game of football and dedicated to Baylor University and excited to be a Baylor Bear. I'm proud that all of these men are a part of our Baylor family."
The Houston offense has ranked as one of the nation's most prolific, in large part due to Clements' and Montgomery's contributions. Through the end of the 2007 regular-season, Houston ranked fourth nationally in total offense (513.17 ypg), 10th in rushing offense (239.92 ypg), 17th in scoring offense (36.33 ppg) and 27th in passing offense (273.25 ypg).
This past season, Cougar offensive lineman Jeff Akeroyd earned first-team All-Conference USA honors. In 2006, when the Cougars' offense ranked sixth nationally and No. 1 in C-USA en route to the C-USA regular-season title and a Liberty Bowl appearances, three of Clements' Houston linemen earned all-conference honors. Senior center Sterling Doty received first-team recognition, while Akeroyd was a second-team honoree and Dustin Dickinson earned third-team honors from the media and honorable mention from the coaches.
"Randy (Clements) has done an outstanding job with the offensive line every place he's ever been," said Briles. "He's a very intelligent and caring coach who has a unique way of motivating and teaching. Randy is an outstanding recruiter."
Houston's 2005 offensive line helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in Ryan Gilbert and provided the protection for a 3,000-yard passer in Kevin Kolb as the Cougars reached the Fort Worth Bowl. Two Clements' pupils, David Douglas and SirVincent Rogers, earned third-team C-USA honors.
In his first season at Houston, which culminated with the Cougars' bid to the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, Clements' tutored Houston center Rex Hadno, first-team All-Conference USA selection who went on to become a sixth-round draft pick of the NFL's Miami Dolphins. Houston finished 12th nationally in both rushing (215.54 ypg) and total (458.3 ypg) offense, 16th in scoring offense (34.56 ppg).
Clements went to Houston after 12 highly successful seasons at Stephenville (Texas) High School, where he served as offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and head power lifting coach. As Stephenville's offensive coordinator in a 10-2 2002 campaign, the school averaged 390 yards and 31 points per game. He coached the offensive line during Stephenville's four Class 4A/Division II state championships (1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999). Clements developed 17 all-state athletes and 11 Division I signees on the offensive line including All-Big 12 player Curtis Lowery (Texas Tech), Shalor Pryor (Iowa), Kris Terrill (Army), Bryan Kegans (Texas Tech) and Sterling Doty (Army).
As Stephenville's head power lifting coach from 1991 through 2002, Clements led his squad to 12 consecutive regional titles and a 2001 state championship. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native earned all-conference honors as a center in 1985 at Tyler (Texas) Junior College, then transferred to Stephen F. Austin where he played on the Lumberjacks' 1988 team which went 10-2 and reached the I-AA quarterfinals.
Clements began his coaching career at SFA as a student assistant (1986-87), then after receiving his bachelor's degree in education from SFA in 1989 he began his association with Art Briles at Stephenville High School. He and his wife, Polly, have two children, Jordan and Jayson.
Like Clements, Montgomery's association with Art Briles dates to Stephenville High School. In 2007, Anthony Alridge rushed for a team-high 1,568 yards and 14 touchdowns while catching 41 passes for 424 yards and five scores en route to second-team All-Conference USA honors for the second consecutive year. He ended the regular-season ranked seventh nationally in rushing and 12th in all-purpose yards per game at 180.1. Alridge and Jackie Battle both rushed for more than 800 yards in 2006 to receive second- and third-team all-conference honors respectively.
"Phillip (Montgomery) brings an outstanding wealth of understanding and knowledge of our offense, as does Randy (Clements)," Briles said. "He has a unique task of coordinating the front and back side of the offensive schemes. He's a tireless recruiter with excellent character."
Montgomery also played a key role in the development of Kolb, who was named 2003 Conference USA Freshman of the Year. His first season at Houston also saw running back Anthony Evans rush for 1,149 yards en route to second-team All-Conference USA honors and Jackie Battle earn team MVP honors after rushing for 124 yards and three touchdowns in the 2003 Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl.
Two years later, Kolb was a third-team all-league performer and running back Ryan Gilbert was a first-team Conference USA honoree after rushing for more than 1,000 yards.
Prior to joining the Cougars' coaching staff, Montgomery served one year as the offensive coordinator at Denton (Texas) High School and helped the team to a 10-2 record and the 2002 bi-district crown.
Montgomery spent six seasons as the quarterbacks and backfield coach at Stephenville High School, where he helped coach Art Briles' program to back-to-back state 4A Division II state championships in 1998 and 1999. Among his pupils at Stephenville were all-state quarterback Kelan Lucker and all-state running back Zac Hunter, who helped power the team's offense to a national record 8,664 total yards in 1998. He also coached Kendall Briles, the 1999 4A Division II Texas Offensive Player of the Year as well as Tie Lassater and Kolb to 4A Division II Texas Offensive MVPs in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
A four-year letterman at Tarleton State, Montgomery began his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater working with the running backs and serving as the summer weight room coordinator for two seasons. The Eastland, Texas, native received his bachelor's degree in exercise and sports studies from Tarleton in 1995. He and his wife, Ashli, have two children, Cannon and Maci.
The younger Briles begins his first season as a collegiate assistant coach after a highly successful high school and collegiate playing career. A two-time Texas 4A Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-state quarterback, Kendall Briles as played safety. He totaled 9,322 total-offense yards and 98 total touchdowns over his final two high school seasons.
"Kendall brings an element of by profession, not by choice, of being involved in football all of his life and being around it all of his life," said the elder Briles. "He's here because he can help us win football games, just like the rest of the coaches here. That's the bottom line. My whole deal is doing what's best for Baylor and Kendall will be a great ambassador for our University."
He spent his senior season at Wolfforth Frenship High School and earned his second Offensive Player of the Year honor after passing for 3,584 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 1,074 yards and 19 scores. As a junior, playing for his father at Stephenville High School, Kendall Briles earned 1999 Texas 4A Offensive Player of the Year recognition after leading Stephenville to a 16-0 record and the 4A state title. He passed for 3,137 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior while rushing for 1,331 yards and 16 scores. He also earned a pair of letters in track and was an all-district basketball player.
Following a standout prep career, Kendall Briles signed a national letter of intent with the University of Texas and redshirted as a true freshman in 2001. He played in seven games as a safety in 2002, but was slowed due to an ankle injury. In his first game on defense, Kendall Briles picked off two passes in the Longhorns' shutout of Baylor in 2002 to share player of the game honors.
When his father was named Houston's head coach, he left the Longhorn program and became a Cougar. Kendall Briles sat out the 2003 season due to transfer rules, then caught 25 passes for 311 yards as a junior in 2004. In his final season at Houston, Kendall ranked No. 2 on the team in receptions with 45 catches for 369 yards and one touchdown.
Born in Abilene, Texas, Kendall Briles has worked in private business in the Houston area since graduating from the UH with a sport management degree.
Achuff joins the Baylor staff after spending the last two seasons as defensive line and strength coach at Tennessee-Martin, where he helped turn the Skyhawks' fortunes around. In 2006, Tennessee-Martin posted a 9-3 record, won the Ohio Valley Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. Tennessee-Martin, which led the OVC and ranked 17th nationally in rush defense (112.92 ypg) en route to its league title, also ranked sixth nationally in total defense.
"Chris is going to coach inside on the defensive line," said Art Briles. "He's energetic, intelligent, determined and hungry with a wealth of experience and knowledge. I'm proud and honored to have him as a part of our staff."
Prior to joining the Skyhawks' staff, Achuff coached the defensive line at both Charleston Southern University (2005) and Chattanooga (2004). He was a graduate assistant on Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno's Penn State staff in 2002-03, working on the defensive side of the ball with Norwood. Achuff coached linebackers and served as the strength coach at Kutztown from 1999 through 2001.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Bloomsburg University, as a student assistant working with linebackers from 1998-99, then moved to Bryant College to work with outside linebackers and lead the school's strength and conditioning program.
Achuff was a standout outside linebacker and special teams performer at Bloomsburg from 1994-97. He was a member of four PSAC championship teams and received the program's 1996 Unsung Hero and Hardest Hit awards. Chris and his wife, Kimberly, have one child, Julia Anne (1).
A Texas native, Hoefer joined the Baylor staff in 2003 as safeties coach and took on addition responsibilities in 2007 as defensive coordinator. A 33-year coaching veteran who has coached at least one All-Big 12 player in each of his first five seasons at Baylor, Hoefer will tutor the Bears' linebackers in 2008.
"Coach Hoefer (Larry) is a proven commodity as an individual and coach," Briles said. "He's a man of character. I've had a lot of respect for Larry for decades in the coaching profession and I'm honored that he's chosen to stay a part of this staff. I'm anxious to get on the field with him, get him on the road recruiting and for him to continue his association with our student-athletes."
Prior to joining the Baylor staff, Hoefer spent two seasons (2001-02) as safeties coach at the University of Kentucky, one year (2000) at UTEP as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and six seasons (1994-99) at Texas Tech as outside linebackers coach. From 1989 through 1993, Hoefer worked as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, defensive backs and wide receivers coach at the University of Missouri.
Hoefer spent seven seasons (1982-88) at UTEP during his first tour of duty with the Miners, coaching the wide receivers and defensive ends. He also spent one season (1981) as defensive ends coach at West Texas A&M. The 1973 McMurry graduate began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coaching defensive backs at Tarleton State, then worked as an assistant at Big Spring and Abilene High Schools before returning to the collegiate ranks at WTAMU.
Hoefer and his wife, Kathy, have three children--married daughter Alison Schupp, and sons Tyler and Bennett, and three granddaughters, Sydney, Samantha and Sophia Schupp. Bennett graduated from Baylor in the spring of 2007 after lettering for three seasons as a free safety for the Bears, while Tyler graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Kazadi joins the Baylor program from South Florida, where he spent the 2007 season helping develop a Bulls team which reached No. 2 in the wire service polls for one week and will play in the Brut Sun Bowl later this month.
"He's going to bring an attitude and focus of why we are here at Baylor," said Briles. "When January 14th hits, we will have a plan through our strength and conditioning program that will be geared to peak our guys Aug. 30th when we play Wake Forest in Floyd Casey Stadium. Koz brings a background of successful strength and conditioning from Missouri to Kansas City to South Florida as a coach and of course he played the game, so he understands what it takes to prepare your body, mind and soul to be an outstanding player."
A standout linebacker at the University of Tulsa, Kazadi earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors for the Hurricanes and was a Butkus Award semifinalist. Born in Zaire, Africa, Kazadi received his bachelor's degree from Tulsa in sociology with a psychology minor.
Drafted by the NFL's Saint Louis Rams in 1997 after an All-American senior season which saw him earn a Fitness All-American Award, he played five years of pro ball, including stints in the Canadian Football League and the World Football League.
After his professional playing career ended, Kazadi was a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri where he earned his master's degree from the school of education in counseling psychology with an emphasis in health promotion and sport psychology. From there, he spent one season as a strength and conditioning coach with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs before moving to USF.
Kazadi and his wife Monique have three children: Ra-sun, Isis and Rohon.