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BYU hires two assistant football coaches

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15 2013 5:30 p.m. MST

BYU's Mark Atuaia is shown running the ball against Hawaii during his career with the Cougars. Atuaia has been hired as an assistant coach on the football team. (Associated Press) BYU's Mark Atuaia is shown running the ball against Hawaii during his career with the Cougars. Atuaia has been hired as an assistant coach on the football team. (Associated Press)

PROVO — BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Tuesday that Mark Atuaia and Garett Tujague have been hired as assistant coaches on the offensive staff.

"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. "Each has a history with BYU and a passion to help the program move forward."

Both former Cougar players, Atuaia has been serving as assistant to the athletics director for student services at BYU, while Tujague has spent the past six seasons as the head football coach at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. Atuaia played running back at BYU from 1991 and 1994-96 while Tujague was an offensive lineman from 1989-1991.

"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."

Garett Tujague, right, is shown with fellow former BYU football players Ty Detmer, center, and Dan Bryant, left. Tujague will the join the BYU offensive coaching staff. (Associated Press) Garett Tujague, right, is shown with fellow former BYU football players Ty Detmer, center, and Dan Bryant, left. Tujague will the join the BYU offensive coaching staff. (Associated Press)

Atuaia joined BYU athletics in June 2012 after previously working as the assistant to the dean of Student Life at BYU. He took that position after graduating in 2011 with both a doctor of jurisprudence from BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and a master of public administration from the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU's Marriott School of Management.

During Atuaia's four-year playing career, BYU achieved a 39-11-2 record, won three conference titles and was ranked in the final top-25 three times. In addition, the offense was ranked in the top 10 nationally three of his four seasons.

As a senior in 1996 he started 13 games on BYU's 14-1 Cotton Bowl team that finished the year ranked No. 5 in the country after defeating Kansas State 19-15 on New Year's Day 1997. Atuaia also helped BYU defeat Oklahoma 31-6 in the 1994 Cooper Bowl to finish ranked No. 10 by CNN and No. 18 by The Associated Press with a 10-3 record.

A native of Laie, Hawai'i, Atuaia prepped at Kahuku High School before attending BYU.

Tujague comes to Provo after 15 seasons at College of the Canyons, including the past six years as the head coach. Under his direction, the COC Cougars earned a 43-25 record and received five bowl invitations in his six seasons.

"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."

Tujague coached and developed three conference players of the year, an all-state player of the year, eight all-state athletes and five JC All-Americans at College of the Canyons. His teams earned three postseason wins and he was named the Southern California Football Association National Conference Coach of the Year in 2008 following a 12-1 season. He was also honored as the Western States Conference Co-Coach of the Year in 2007 after a 9-3 record.

Prior to his promotion to head coach, Tujague served nine years as assistant head coach and offensive line coach at COC under Chuck Lyon, helping build the program upon its reinstatement in 1998 after 17 years without football. Before College of the Canyons, he coached at Chabot College from 1993-95 and the University of Redlands from 1996-97 While at Redlands, the Bulldogs won two Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

As a player, Tujague was a left guard at BYU under assistant coach Roger French from 1989-1991 after two years at Chabot College.

Position assignments will be announced once the entire coaching staff is finalized.

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