Art Briles agrees to new 10-year contract at Baylor

Baylor is 8-0 for the first time in school history and ranked fifth in the BCS standings, putting the Bears right in the thick of the national championship discussion, thanks in large part to their head coach, Art Briles.

On Wednesday, Briles agreed to a new 10-year contract that will keep the coach on the sidelines at Baylor through at least the 2023 season.

Baylor hasn’t announced the financial terms of the contract, but Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com reports Briles’ new deal is for roughly $45 million, mostly guaranteed with a buyout near $5 million.

Briles told The Associated Press Wednesday night he was “humbled and blessed” by the new contract.

“It allows us to do what our job is, concentrate on Texas Tech this Saturday,” Briles told AP. “We feel fortunate to be at Baylor, and are glad the feeling is mutual.”

Briles has been the Bears’ head coach since 2008 and has a 41-30 record.

Baylor went 4-8 in each of Briles’ first two seasons but bounced back in 2010 with Robert Griffin III at quarterback. One year after suffering a season-ending knee injury, RG3 led the Bears to their first winning season as a Big 12 team and their first bowl game in 16 years. One year later, Griffin won the Heisman Trophy and capped off a 10-win season with a win at the Alamo Bowl.

“We’ve got a lot of bridges to cross. We feel like we’re in the infant stages of our program, without question,” Briles said. “That’s what makes it exciting.”

Before coming to Baylor, Briles was the head coach at the University of Houston for five seasons compiling a 34-28 record and leading the Cougars to four bowl games.

Next season, Baylor is opening a new $260 million stadium that will be situated on the banks of the Brazos River, which runs through campus.

Follow Shawn Ramsey on Twitter: @ShawnPRamsey