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Dick Harmon: BYU, Utah have fostered a lot of coaching talent

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 4 2012 8:11 p.m. MST

Hayden Fry, the former Iowa head coach, is famous for a lot of reasons, one of which is the number of Division I coaches or assistants Iowa has produced over the years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The TV series "Coach" was based on his personality.

LaVell Edwards and BYU isn't too shabby either.

Traditions, systems and consistency tend to draw coaching talent and create a laboratory to produce more for the profession.

The WSJ lists Iowa No. 1 on its Top-25 Coaches' Schools with 16 head coaches or assistants, followed by Auburn, Florida and BYU, all with 15.

The WSJ qualifier is the coaches must have been undergraduates for a school and are now coaching at the highest level of college football.

Iowa is said to be the "Harvard of the coaching profession."

Iowa's alums include Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Florida State assistant Mark Stoops. If you consider graduate assistants, Iowa claims Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez and others.

I did a quick check of former BYU players coaching Division I and II and found an impressive number. And if graduate assistants were added, it gets in the 20s. I'm sure I've missed some.

The former BYU players now coaching Division I or II include just-finished Rose Bowl participant John Neal (Oregon), Robert Anae (Arizona), Justin Ena (SUU), Teague Whiting (SUU), Micah Alba (Fresno State), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Kalani Sitake (Utah), Aaron Roderick (Utah), Lance Reynolds (BYU), Kelly Poppinga (BYU), Ben Cahoon (BYU), Brandon Doman (BYU), Steve Kaufusi (BYU), Brian Mitchell (East Carolina), Dennis Simmons (Washington State) and Steve Sarkisian (Washington).

Mitchell, who coached at BYU for nearly a decade, coached at Texas Tech with Mike Leach before following Raider defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill to East Carolina where he is now the defensive coordinator.

If you count former graduate assistant coaches at BYU, or those who did not play but attended BYU for master's or doctorate degrees, the list is very impressive. The list includes just-hired Hawaii coach Norm Chow; Steve Clark (SUU); SUU head coach Ed Lamb; just-hired North Texas assistant Chico Canales; Nicholls State head coach Charlie Stubbs; Washington State's new head coach Mike Leach; and Dixie State head coach Scott Brumfield.

Leach, a native of Cody, Wyo., often recites his link to BYU. He did not coach at BYU but received his undergraduate degree at the school there in 1983 and spent a lot of time at BYU practices, studying and asking questions about the philosophy and execution of the Cougar offense.

Chow is a graduate of the University of Utah, and in the WSJ poll, he would be considered a product-by-player of the Utes. But Chow was a graduate assistant at BYU under LaVell Edwards before accepting a full-time job as receiver's coach that led to his title as offensive coordinator before he left in 1999.

An offensive lineman who blocked for Ty Detmer, Garrett Tujague, is the head coach at College of the Canyons in California.

Of course, if you go NFL, you have Eagles coach Andy Reid, whose sustainability in one of the toughest sports cities in America is remarkable.

Leading coaching

Producers

Iowa 16

Florida State 15

Auburn 15

BYU15

Colorado St. 13

Florida 13

Hawaii 13

Washington St. 13

Kansas State 12

Miami (Fla.) 12

Michigan 12

Nebraska 12

Ohio State 12

Air Force 11

Boise State 11

Texas Tech 11

Tennessee 10

Alabama 9

Idaho 9

Oklahoma 9

Penn State 9

Texas 9

Utah9

Virginia 9

Virginia Tech 9

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Email: dharmon@desnews.com

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