Of BYU's 10 full-time coaches, only three are doing the same job as a year ago. Since last spring, the Cougars have a new defensive coordinator (Mendenhall), a new offensive coordinator (Brandon Doman), a new special teams coordinator (Nick Howell) and a new recruiting coordinator (Joe DuPaix).
"Every coordinator position or key leadership position on the staff has been changed," Mendenhall said. "With that comes so much excitement and energy and enthusiasm. A real passion for being at BYU specifically, working with our players and maybe overarching all of that, with the love for the mindset and the direction the program has taken, and how it's currently being run."
Added the coach: “The idea is, I believe the program is capable of still more than has been accomplished the past six years, and I would like to see visible signs of that — not every other year or every third year,” Mendenhall explained. “It just felt like we kind of plateaued with the existing leadership.”
DuPaix was hired away from Navy to be the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, and former Canadian Football League star Ben Cahoon came aboard as receivers coach.
After going through spring drills with new coaches, Mendenhall said the changes have resulted in "a renewed enthusiasm and excitement. I think it's reflecting on the players. Nothing is status quo. What we've known that's got us to this point certainly has been acknowledged, but we're looking to press forward and do a better job than we've done in the past."
Doman said DuPaix and Cahoon have made an immediate impact.
"Joe DuPaix inherently is a pretty energetic and enthusiastic guy. Just having him around, coaching the running backs — that's such a physical part of this team and such an important part of this team for play-action, which we want to do. Coach Cahoon has brought a mastery of the craft of wide receiver. Those guys have reinvigorated through new drills and ideas. They're certainly full of energy and doing a great job. They're motivated, and they all like to learn and they take great feedback. They're working really hard. With the right work ethic and the right people, that's a good combination."
2011 BYU coaching staff
Bronco Mendenhall, Head coach/defensive coordinator
Lance Reynolds, Assistant head coach/tight ends
Brandon Doman, Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
*Ben Cahoon, Receivers coach
*Joe DuPaix, Running backs/recruiting coordinator
Nick Howell, Secondary coach/special teams
Steve Kaufusi, Defensive line coach
Kelly Poppinga, Outside linebackers coach
Paul Tidwell, Inside linebackers coach
Mark Weber, Offensive line coach
*Entering first season on staff
- Big winner: Utes hit jackpot early and often...
- Brad Rock: This is where conference switch...
- Penn State sweeps BYU for a record seventh...
- Dick Harmon: Execution, not words, will crown...
- Tyler Haws scores 24 as BYU holds off Stanford
- Wyoming transfer Jason Thompson makes Utah...
- Utah State caps historic season with win over...
- Utah basketball team makes it a doubly-good...
- BYU football: Cougars in talks with... 62
- BYU defensive back transferring to Utah... 51
- Hamson and Gray step up big to get BYU... 45
- Big winner: Utes hit jackpot early and... 42
- BYU sells close to 2,000 tickets for... 40
- Dick Harmon: How a simple decision in... 34
- Ute football team has boots on the... 33
- Ranking the biggest bowl games in... 28