PROVO — A little more than 10 years ago, Brandon Doman was a backup BYU quarterback yearning for a chance to prove himself on the field. Once he received his chance, he made the most of it, posting a 12-2 record as a starter and leading the Cougars to a conference championship.
A decade later, Doman is assuming an even bigger role. He's eager, once again, to show what he can do — this time as a play-caller.
On Tuesday, coach Bronco Mendenhall promoted Doman, who has served as the Cougars' quarterbacks coach since 2005, to offensive coordinator. It's a position that Doman described as "mind-boggling" and "humbling," adding that he's "prepared like crazy" for this opportunity.
"When the offer came ... I knew what I wanted," said Doman, who will continue his responsibilities as the Cougars' quarterbacks coach. "To be the offensive coordinator at BYU for Brandon Doman, this is an awesome opportunity and a dream come true."
Doman replaces Robert Anae, who resigned last week and has since accepted a similar job at Arizona.
"The past six years, (Doman has) earned my trust," Mendenhall said. "I know he's absolutely capable of helping our football program. Our team believes in him, I believe in him. I'm very excited to watch him as he grows and develops and leads our offense."
Mendenhall also announced that graduate assistant Kelly Poppinga, a former Cougar linebacker, has been elevated to outside linebackers coach. Poppinga coached that position for the final eight games of the 2010 season as part of the restructuring on the defensive staff following the firing of Jaime Hill as defensive coordinator in early October.
"I'm really excited for what's ahead and the potential that this upcoming team has," Poppinga said. "I'm very thankful for everything that's been given to me and to have the opportunity so early in my career to be back at BYU, at the place that I played. It's a great blessing in my life."
"Kelly was fantastic leading our defense ... absolutely exceptional in helping us play very good defense down the stretch," Mendenhall said. "He knows exactly how to play the spot and he knows exactly what I expect as a football coach from him. He demands that of his players and they love him because of it. To me, it's a great day for BYU football. We're looking to continue to gain momentum for the future."
Mendenhall said the program progressed during the 2010 season, which saw the Cougars finish with a 7-6 mark, adding that his job is to look for ways to help his team improve.
"I'm not willing to accept any ceiling on our program as to what's possible and what's not possible," he said. "I've made some decisions regarding the program that have been difficult. But I think they are the right decisions moving forward."
On Dec. 20, Mendenhall put all of his offensive coaches on notice that he was evaluating the staff and contemplating personnel changes. Doman said that during that time he was comfortable with his situation and was able to enjoy the holidays.
"I had a great Christmas. I didn't spend much time worrying about it," he said. "I was confident that if I wasn't coaching at BYU, I'd be coaching somewhere. I have no desire to coach elsewhere. I wanted to coach at BYU and be part of this institution."
As for other personnel changes, Mendenhall explained that his evaluation of the coaching staff is "on-going. There is no time frame or deadline .... I'll continue to work until I find the exact right formula to help our program continue to move forward ... I'm very excited and completely optimistic and absolutely confident in the two coaches I've named today."
Doman, who was instrumental in the development of former quarterbacks John Beck and Max Hall, as well as freshman Jake Heaps this past season, said he is grateful for all he's learned and experienced the past six years working with Mendenhall and Anae. Doman added that he's looking forward to what's to come.
"I have great confidence in who the players are and I have great confidence in the players who are coming in," he said. "And I have great confidence in the future of this football program."85 comments on this story
Asked about his offensive philosophy, Doman said, "I've learned enough football over the last while as a player and coach that you create the offense around the talent you have. That will be sorted out over time, over the next few months ... We have an awesome foundation that's been here for 30 years. I would foresee us being very balanced and difficult to defend."
Added Doman: "I want to throw the football and be very good at it. I love throwing the football."
Spoken like a former BYU quarterback.