Baylor is firing embattled football coach Art Briles

Baylor football coach Art Briles, under fire for his program’s handling of several sexual assault allegations dating back to 2009, will be dismissed by the school.

Briles, 60, was 65-37 in eight seasons at Baylor and had led the Bears to at least 10 victories in four of the past five seasons. Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett reportedly will be named interim head coach.

Last fall – prompted by Baylor defensive lineman Sam Ukwuachu’s sexual assault conviction — the school hired a Philadelphia law firm, Pepper Hamilton, to investigate the university’s handling of the history of allegations, and it was expected to respond publicly to that firm’s recently completed findings by June 3.

It beat that deadline by issuing a statement Thursday that announced Briles has been suspended with intent to terminate and that athletic director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. In addition, university president Ken Starr, who was the subject of reports that he’d be fired earlier this week, will be transitioning to the role of chancellor and is being replaced on an interim basis by Dr. David Garland.

Baylor also has made contact with the NCAA "to initially discuss potential infractions and to offer full cooperation with any resulting investigation."

The school listed significant failures in its response to the Pepper Hamilton report:

“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, said in a statement. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”