Jake Spavital Named Baylor Football Offensive Coordinator

Jake Spavital
Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

In Baylor Football head coach Dave Aranda’s second year of leading the team and former Offensive Coordinator Jeff Grimes’ first season (2021), the Bears went 12-2, 7-2; secured a program-high 12 wins; recorded their first-ever Big 12 Championship title game victory; had their first and only New Years 6 bowl win in the CFP era; and notched 5 wins over Top 25 opponents for their most top-25 wins in a season since at least 1974. Unfortunately since that 2021 miracle season, the Bears have struggled on both sides of the ball, finishing with 6-7 and 3-9 consecutive season records. With 3 seasons and 2 of them with losing records under Grimes’ offensive leadership, the Baylor Football program replaced Grimes with new Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Jake Spavital! Spavital coached at the University of California this season, leading the Golden Bears to a program record 681 offensive yards in their first match up and improving their scoring offense from 95th to 39th in the country.

On the hiring of Spavital as new OC and QB coach, Aranda said, “We are thrilled to welcome Jake to Waco to lead our offensive attack. Jake brings so many things to the table and will be a tremendous asset to our program. Jake is one of the best offensive minds in the nation, having worked with some of the most innovative offenses in college football, and brings a great perspective to the offensive side of the ball as a former head coach in the state. He has coached elite quarterbacks throughout his career and has developed an offensive style that is exciting and challenging on the defense. I’m proud to welcome Jake and his family to Baylor.” 

According to Baylor Athletics, Spavital “has coordinated offenses that ranked among the nation’s top-30 in FEI in five of six years between West Virginia, Cal and Texas A&M, including a No. 10 mark in 2018 at WVU, also checking in No. 30 in 2017 at WVU, No. 22 at Cal in 2016, No. 12 at Texas A&M in 2014 and No. 2 in 2013 at Texas A&M.” He’s had 6 offensive corps ranked in the country’s top 20 with spots in the Associated Press Top 25 rankings in seven different season selections. QBs falling under Spavital’s recruitment and/or coaching tutelage include Will Grier and Geno Smith at West Virginia, Case Keenum at Houston, Johnny Manziel and Kyler Murray at Texas A&M, Davis Webb at California, and Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State. Before his one season stint at Cal, Spavital was the head coach at Texas State from 2019-2022 (remember when the Bobcats gave the Bears a run for their money in 2021?) and his team finished second in the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division in his third year. He was the West Virginia OC from 2017-2018 where the Mountaineers landed 2 bowl game invitations and finished 20th nationally in 2018. That season, Spavital’s offense finished 4th nationally in passing offense, 5th in passing efficiency, 8th in total offense, and 10th in scoring offense. In the season prior, the team finished 13th in passing offense, 20th in total offense, and 22nd in scoring offense. Grier’s 2018 season included mentorship by Spavital where Grier earned a ranking of 2nd nationally with 351.3 passing yards per game and 5th with 37 TDs. Spavital made his first stop at Cal in the 2016 season as OC with a top 25 offense in 8 categories. He spent 2013-2015 as Texas A&M’s OC/QB coach, coaching Heisman Trophy winner Manziel who notched single-season SEC and school records with 4,593 passing yards and 6,999 total yards of offense—2nd in league history. Spavital first led West Virginia in 2011 and 2012, where he was the QB coach for Smith, who ended his collegiate career with 11,662 passing yards and 98 TDs. The Mountaineers ranked in the top 10 in multiple offensive categories. He was a GA at Oklahoma State in 2010 and Houston in 2009, and Offensive Quality Control coach at Tulsa in 2008.

“I am excited to get back to Texas and thankful for the opportunity to work with Dave and his staff,” Spavital said. “I’ve admired Dave from afar for quite some time and have always viewed him as a coach that would be great to work alongside in the future, if I ever got that chance. This is a tremendous opportunity to join a great Baylor staff. I can’t wait to get to Waco and get to work getting this offense ready for 2024.”