PROVO — Brandon Doman hopes to do this coaching gig for a very long time.
The energy of it, the challenge, the sleepless nights, the dynamics of putting pieces of the puzzle together and working with young men are all in his DNA.
Is he great at it?
He is learning.
Doman is gobbling up everything he can so someday he'll be the best he can be. And he's humble enough to know that takes time.
In his first season as BYU's offensive coordinator, he's switched offenses and quarterbacks within a month. He's redesigned blocking schemes and changed who has the most touches at the running back position.
In a perfect world, with 10 returning offensive starters, it should have been easier.
This week, young Doman saluted retiring Weber State football coach Ron McBride, who has endured a long, productive life in the profession. He sees McBride as an example.
McBride recruited him and all his older brothers. McBride lives in the same part of town Doman grew up in and he's had a long respect and admiration for McBride because he has done what Doman wants to do: be one of the last men standing when all is said and done as a coach.
"He's a dear friend to the Doman family. He's been a great support to all of us. He recruited all of us, some more than others. We grew up in the same high school boundaries. I married a girl from his neighborhood and I saw a lot of him growing up," said Doman.
"He's a revered coach, not only by people throughout the country but by BYU people and Weber State people. He's done a heckuva job."
The link between Doman and McBride extends to both the field and locker room.
In LaVell Edwards' last game in 2000 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, it was a pair of long passes by Doman that set up the winning touchdown over Utah and McBride. That winning score was a run and dive by Doman across the goal line as time ticked away.
The following year, Doman helped trigger giant plays in the fourth quarter to etch out another win over McBride in LaVell Edwards Stadium, a 24-21 victory.
Doman is 2-0 as a starter against McBride. Both were comeback victories with big plays. Both were games Utah might have — should have — won.
Doman shared this anecdote:
"My funniest story about McBride came the next year, my rookie season in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers," says Doman. "He'd just become the linebacker coach at the University of Kentucky. One day he came out to San Francisco on a professional visit."
After practice, Doman came into the locker room and saw McBride talking to some of the coaches. He approached McBride to say hello.
"He gave me a big hug and turned to the other guys and said, 'This guy right here, over the last two years, made me realize God is Mormon."'
Doman and the others had a good laugh over the candor of the moment.
"He's a down-to-earth guy and takes this coaching profession just the right way. He and coach (LaVell) Edwards both handled it the right way with their longevity.
"To coach so many people, to have people want to play for you, well, you have to have a unique ability to handle the ups and downs, remain consistent and enjoy it. So many coaches today just wear themselves down, and everyone else around them.
"But those two guys found a way to do it as long as they did. I want to do this for a long time. And I don't want to wear myself out or wear out the players or the coaches around me. Sometimes I do that by the nature of the business now.
"It's not worth it. Those guys did it. If I were to take a page out of their book, it would be that; that you understand the consistency of it, you remain level-headed, you stay positive, you enjoy it, you deal with the ups and downs and don't make the ups too high and the downs too low. That is hard to do. It is hard to remain consistent at those levels today in college football. They did it and I hope to."
This week's picks:
Air Force 34, Wyoming 24: Credit Wyoming for making a huge surge and turnaround, but it ends in Falconville today.
Utah State 34, San Jose State 28: Great comeback win for Utah State over Hawaii. Perhaps that has triggered what Gary Andersen has searched for since August.
Boise State 38, TCU 24: Boise State will expose TCU in ways BYU couldn't.
USC 21, Washington 19: The Trojans may not be going bowling but they've still got the talent to remind folks who is who in the Pac-12.
California 24, Oregon State 17: The Bears are fighting for a more attractive bowl appearance and will pull it off today at home.
Stanford 34, Oregon 28: Great showdown between No. 4 and No. 7. Andrew Luck is the difference. He's the most prepared QB for the NFL today, according to Steve Young.
Arizona State 35, Washington State 27: The Sun Devils have enough defense to physically gain the edge.
Utah 21, UCLA 19: Utah's defense will force turnovers to set up a shaky but improving offense, and former Bruin assistant Norm Chow will leave Rice-Eccles a very satisfied man.
BYU 34, Idaho 17: Bronco Mendenhall would rather have played last week but the bye week did enable him to heal players. BYU might have a 100-yard rusher in this game. Will it be Riley Nelson?
Last week: 3-4; overall: 57-23 (.780).
Cougars on the air
Idaho (2-7) at BYU (6-3)
Saturday, 7:15 p.m. MT
LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FMHeady goes here
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