In , Briles was hired as head coach at the University of Houston , where he took over a program that had an 8—26 record under the previous coach, Dana Dimel. Under Briles, the Bears completed the regular season by winning four of their last five games. Former Baylor coach Art Briles hired by football team in Italy".

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After a 4—5—1 season in , Briles' Stephenville squads made the playoffs in and ever since. Briles left the school in with a 4—15—1 overall record.