PROVO — The transformation of BYU's offensive coaching staff continued Tuesday as coach Bronco Mendenhall announced the hiring of Mark Atuaia and Garett Tujague.
Their position assignments will be announced after the entire staff is finalized, according to school officials, though sources told the Deseret News nearly two weeks ago that Atuaia would be BYU's new running backs coach.
On Monday, running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Joe DuPaix and wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon reportedly were relieved of their duties by Mendenhall. BYU officials did not release any information Tuesday about their status with the program.
Both DuPaix and Cahoon were hired two years ago, when Robert Anae left as the Cougars' offensive coordinator. Anae was re-hired as offensive coordinator on Jan. 4.
Atuaia and Tujague (pronounced TWO-jay) are former Cougar players. Atuaia, who was a running back at BYU from 1991, 1994-96, has been working as assistant to the athletic director for student services at BYU. Tujague, who was an offensive lineman from 1989-91 at BYU, has been the head coach at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., the past six seasons.
"Garett and Mark have unique skills and experiences and are fine, capable men that I'm counting on to help our players reach their full potential," Mendenhall said in a statement. "Each has a history with BYU and a passion to help the program move forward."
"I'm excited for the chance to help develop young men in a BYU setting, helping them navigate through the great and unique experiences only found at this institution," Atuaia said. "My life experiences have helped me to be ready for this opportunity, and I'll exhaust all my efforts ensuring that these young men are successful on the field and in life."
Tujague blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer in 1991 before beginning his coaching career. He spent a total of 15 years at College of the Canyons, which posted a 43-25 record the last six years under Tujague.
"It's a great feeling to be home, very humbling," Tujague said. "I am excited for this opportunity to be at BYU with these young men and be part of their mission in football and in life. I'd like to express my gratitude to the great people at College of the Canyons for preparing me for this step. I'm grateful for their guidance and for allowing me to be a head coach."
Since the 2012 season ended, four offensive coaches have left the program.
The status of former offensive coordinator Brandon Doman, who has been the quarterbacks coach since 2005, remains uncertain. Anae replaced Doman as BYU's offensive coordinator, a position Doman held the past two seasons.
After BYU's victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20, Mendenhall announced the retirement of assistant head coach and tight ends coach Lance Reynolds.
Offensive line coach Mark Weber, who joined BYU's staff in 2007, left the Cougars recently to become the new O-line coach at Utah State.
Cahoon played at BYU from 1995-97, then enjoyed a 13-year career in the Canadian Football League. He became the CFL's all-time receptions leader and was a two-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian award winner.
During his time in Provo, Cahoon helped in the development of Cody Hoffman, who is poised to break all of the career receiving records at BYU next season.
DuPaix, like Cahoon, arrived at BYU before the 2011 season. The Skyline High product was instrumental in the recruitment of true freshman running back Jamaal Williams, who rushed for a team-high 744 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall.
Prior to coaching at BYU, DuPaix served as the slotbacks coach at Navy for three seasons.23 comments on this story
Former Cougar QB Max Hall, who played for Anae and spent last season as a student assistant, has interviewed for a spot on BYU's offensive staff. Under Anae, Hall led the Cougars to a 32-7 record as the starting quarterback.
Paul Peterson, the new offensive coordinator at Sacramento State, and Steve Clark, Southern Utah's offensive coordinator, have also interviewed.
Both Peterson and Clark are former offensive graduate assistants at BYU. Peterson played quarterback at Bingham High, Snow College and Boston College, and he just finished his fourth season as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at SUU. Peterson's older brother, Charlie, is a former BYU quarterback.