Tujague joins former JC coaches Robert Anae and Paul Tidwell on BYU’s staff. Tujague has been voted by his California peers as coach of the year in Southern California several times.
“Relationships pay off over time,” said Cleveland.
“Those are my guys,” said Tujague of JC coaches in California. “They are my cohorts.”
It’s kind of a subculture. Unless you’ve coached JC sports, it is hard to understand what they have to do and work with.
“The most important thing about recruiting is relationships,” said Tujague. “When you have that, when you go in and visit schools where you have relationships for 16 years, when it’s the same coaches, maybe a different school but the same coach, then it translates into building relationships with the kids in recruiting.”
Tujague confirms what Cleveland said about JC coaches celebrating when their own joins the ranks of Divison I schools. He’s already received numerous calls, text messages and conversations from JC coaches from all over the country, especially in California. They pledge their support and want him to succeed as part of their merry band.
“I’m very anxious to get started and already have my plans. I’ve got some territory to cover, but its all familiar ground to me and I think basically the key is persistence and relationships.”
Tujague has been assigned to recruit Southern California, areas in Los Angeles all the way to San Luis Obispo. “I’m doing Ventura County, but not Orange County. My expertise is in Riverside County because I coached at the College of Redlands, Ventura County, Los Angeles County and the high desert (Bakersfield), where I have some really good contacts. I know every one of those head coaches, I know all of them very well.”
Tujague said he loved every minute of his time as a junior college football coach — its been more than a decade and a half of his life for the former teammate of Ty Detmer.
“But I’ll tell you what, this is the best job in the world and those junior college coaches understand that. They tell me whatever I need, they’ll help me, they’ll tell me the kids they are recruiting and give me the cell phone numbers of their coaches so I can get involved and up to speed.”
How good of a recruiter can Tujague be?
Stay tuned, we’ll all find out how his network breaks it down.
Next: A new NCAA rule that allows an on-campus only recruiting coordinator gave BYU an interesting young, but experienced, outsider.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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