An odd sequence of events unfolded this week that saw Baylor hire and then subsequently part ways with Ryan Pugh within the span of 24 hours.
On Monday, Bears head coach Dave Aranda, announced the hiring of Pugh in a glowing statement.
“Ryan is an up-and-coming coach,” he said.
“He’s a family man and he is a leader. Ryan has great football intelligence and great communication skills. More than that, I am impressed with the quality of person that he is. I also have a great appreciation for the way that he has been able to inspire his players, and build strong, cohesive and aggressive offensive lines. We are excited for Ryan to join us.”
One day later, seemingly out of nowhere, a follow-up statement was issued by Aranda reversing the decision to hire Pugh.
“Since the recent announcement of Ryan Pugh as Baylor’s OL coach, we have decided to move in a different direction,” he said.
“We are currently in the process of filling the resulting vacancy. We wish Ryan the best in his future endeavors.”
Aranda’s decision was the second weirdest move made by a college football coach in the last week.
So what happened?
According to Baylor AD Mack Rhoades, something the school uncovered in their background check of Pugh seemingly led to the sharp reversal.
Rhoades appeared with radio host Matt Mosley of ESPN Central Texas in Waco and tried his best to delicately explain the situation.
“Because it’s a personnel issue, I’m going to be very sensitive around this,” Rhoades said.
“But obviously, when you make a hire, you do an extensive amount of due diligence … including professional background checks, and not just background checks, but phone calls, conversations, all those things.
“After we had done all those things, and after we had announced the hire, there were just some things where we felt like we needed to go in another direction. That’s probably the best way that I can explain it.”
Pugh was set to join the Bears fresh off his time at Troy, where he served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Over the course of his two years there, Pugh led an offense that surpassed the 500-yard plateau in total offense on seven separate occasions.
Last year Troy finished ninth in the country in passing offense.
What exactly did Baylor find in his background check that would warrant such a dramatic turn of events? The details will probably come out sooner rather than later.