In a bizarre situation, Troy offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ryan Pugh was announced as Baylor’s new offensive line coach on Jan. 5 before then being “un-hired” on Jan. 6.
After initially making the announcement of Pugh’s hiring, the next day Baylor head coach Dave Aranda reversed course.
“Since the recent announcement of Ryan Pugh as Baylor’s OL coach, we have decided to move in a different direction,” Aranda said in a public statement. “We are currently in the process of filling the resulting vacancy. We wish Ryan the best in his future endeavors.”
Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhodes spoke about the situation briefly with ESPN Central Texas and said Pugh’s dismissal came after the conclusion of a background check.
“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 spent time on the staff at BYU with current Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and it was believed their relationship there is what led to his hiring at Baylor. Pugh was a star center at Hoover High School before becoming an All-American at Auburn.
Pugh started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Auburn, Virginia Tech and Cincinnati before becoming an assistant offensive line coach at LSU and then offensive line coach at Texas-San Antonio and BYU. He has spent the past two years as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Troy under head coach Chip Lindsey.
While Pugh didn't go into detail on the situation he issued a public statement on his Twitter account on Jan. 8.
"When I was a teenager, I made a poor decision that I take full responsibility for," Pugh said. "I sincerely apologize to everyone I hurt and offended. I have grown since then, and I look forward to being a model father, husband, leader of young men and man of faith."
While Pugh’s future remains uncertain Lindsey told the Dothan Eagle that he would not “rule out” the possibility of Pugh returning to Troy, but the school was currently in the process of searching for a new offensive line coach.