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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Texas pride emanates from Baylor's Briles

By Mark Schlabach


BRISTOL, Conn. -- Baylor was one of college football’s biggest stories last season after finishing 11-2, winning the Big 12, playing in a BCS bowl game and scoring points at a record pace.

The Bears were featured on national TV and became a social media phenomenon because of their myriad flashy uniforms and fast-break spread offense.

But Bears coach Art Briles takes more pride in being featured on the cover of this year’s issue of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, which has been called the “Bible” of football in the state.

Art Briles
Art Briles finally made the cover of Dave Campbell's Texas Football, a highlight for the Texas native.
Briles was born and raised in Rule, Texas (population 636, according to the 2010 census) and has never worked outside the state. In fact, the most time he ever spent outside the Lone Star State was for last season’s Fiesta Bowl, when he spent more than a week in Tempe, Ariz. The Bears were upset by Central Florida 52-42.

“Maybe that’s what went wrong,” Briles said. “Next time I’m going to take some soil and food with me.”

Because of Briles' state pride, it's no surprise he said the Texas Football appearance is bigger than being featured on the cover of some national publication.

“It’s a huge deal. That’s without question the Bible of football in the southwest part of the country. Not everybody in Texas reads Sports Illustrated,” Briles said. “But if you like football in our state, you’re reading Dave Campbell’s.”

Campbell, a longtime sportswriter and sports editor at the Waco Tribune-Herald, first started publishing his magazine in 1960. For many years, Campbell published it out of his kitchen. It was sold to a media company in recent years.

How coveted is Dave Campbell’s cover? Even after Briles won four Class 4A state titles at Stephenville (Texas) High School, he wasn’t featured on the cover.

“I’d been in there one time,” Briles said. “In 1977, when I was a player at Houston, they had my photo in there. That tells you how big of a deal it is because I remembered it.”