PROVO — BYU coach Kalani Sitake added three more assistants to his staff Monday.
Steve Clark is the new tight ends coach, Russell Tialavea is the director of football operations and AJ Middleton is the assistant football strength and conditioning coach.
“I’m happy to announce the hiring of Steve, Russell and AJ,” Sitake said in a statement. “Steve is authentic, extremely organized and a tireless worker who will coach our tight ends. AJ adds great experience to our strength and conditioning staff, and Russell has kept the overall program running smoothly amidst the recent changes and I'm excited to have him serve as the director of football operations.”
Clark, a BYU graduate, has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Weber State the past two years. He has also spent time at Southern Utah, Utah, BYU, Saint Mary’s College and Provo High School.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Coach Sitake’s staff in this new exciting time of BYU football,” Clark said. “I’ve been blessed to work with some great coaches and players over the years and can’t wait to begin working with this team.”
Clark worked with current BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb at Southern Utah from 2008-2013 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Tialavea, who played on the defensive line for BYU (2005-09, 2012), was the Cougars' assistant director of football operations last year.
“I’m very humbled and grateful for the opportunity,” Tialavea said. “I know and love all of our players, and I’m excited to get to know all of our new coaches. I expect great things from this group.”
In 2014, Tialavea worked as an academic specialist in the BYU Student Athlete Academic Center where he served as an academic liaison with the football program.
Middleton will assist new head football strength and conditioning coach Nu’u Tafisi. He spent the 2015 season as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at UNLV.
“I’m looking forward to helping develop our players and being part of a program that has such a great winning tradition,” Middleton said. “It’s exciting to be part of an organization with such an emphasis on integrity."10 comments on this story
Before his stint at UNLV, Middleton worked for USC and the University of Redlands in those teams' strength and conditioning programs.
Sitake’s staff also includes offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ty Detmer; defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki; Lamb, who is overseeing special teams; offensive line coach Mike Empey; defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi; and wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon.
Sitake has yet to announce a linebackers coach, a running backs coach or a defensive backs coach.