Comments about ‘Vai's View: Recognize others' potential and help them develop it’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 24 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Just another example of how these two vastly different programs are on vastly different levels, headed in vastly different directions.

The future of football in Utah, is Utah

Granstville, UT

I agree with Vai, Bronco's insistence that he serve as both head coach and defensive cooridnator, limits the growth of those on his staff. I'm not sure if this is due to an over inflated ego, or insecurity on Bronco's part.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

"The point is, the most successful coaches and organizations groom and develop their own talent and people."

Excellent insights. I happen to be a big fan of two football organizations who do this as well, or better than any other organization: U of U football, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Salem, UT

I have lived in several places outside of the Wasatch Front where callings often felt like they had come thru desperation rather than inspiration- I will always be grateful for a wise Stake Pres. who counciled me long ago as a young EQP to make one of my priorities developing people so that when I was released his job would be much harder selecting my replacement since it would now be inspiration and not as much desperation- nice piece Vai- thanks


Vai - Did you not see the disaster that was Jamie Hill. Guy killed the defense. Also, Norm Chow is a real stretch. He is at the tail end of his career and could have been a head coach a long time ago. I promise Hawaii didn't hire him because of how great Utah's offense was last year. Also, why didn't you bring up the fact that Aaron Roderick was demoted after 1 year as co-offensive coordinator and that Dave Schram was the other coordinator and was demoted and left because of Brian Johnson. Why no mention of them?

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT


Great and insightful article. I agree with you that byu needs to improve recruiting and leadership quickly, or there will be dire consequences.

Let's hope and pray that it's not too late.

Provo, UT

Good article with some great insight, although I don't like how much the Doman hire was just hurried over. Hiring Doman is very similar to hiring BJ but seems smarter on the surface. I like the direction that these local programs are headed.

La Crescenta, CA

I agree with Vai on Bronco, but this could be a different story in a few years if Bronco's young assistants develop and get promoted. However, giving Utah credit for Norm Chow as a new head coach is a laugh. If any coach gets credit for that one it would be Lavell Edwards or Pete Carroll. Utah's offensive last year was the reason Norm Chow got the head coaching position at Hawaii? Norm is from Hawaii and his success at BYU and USC got him the job.

Saint George, UT


Respectfully, I think you are missing Vai's point. This is not an article about football or sports.

Vai is making a thoughtful and wise point about our stewardship toward others and their potential and growth. This is about the parable of the talents. Some are given one and return one. Some are given one and returning five.

So Jaime didn't work out. Neither you or I could say WHY he didn't work out. Putting the blame squarely on Jaime would be unfair. Not all projects, hires, ventures work. Think Edison/Lightbulb and the failure to success ratio.

At some point we have to realize in our lives that self-fulfillment only goes so far. Our sphere of influence has to reach far beyond ourselves to truly experience joy and fulfillment. We must return 5 talents when we are given one. My statement is not a condemnation of anyone mentioned in this article. Just an interpretation of a wise message.


Or could it be that Kyle just wants people who won't give him a hassle, so he can really run things?

Draper, UT

While I totally agree with Vai's premise concerning the development of leaders, I agree with others as to Norm Chow falling under Kyle's tree. I will admit that Kyle does a good job of developing his young coaches and has been mentioned, not all have worked out. But Kyle holds them accountable and moves on if it isn't working. Norm Chow would truly fit under Coach Edwards coaching tree. I also believe that Bronco has brought in some younger coaches that hopefully he can trust to move the DC to them in the near future.

Vai does not seem to have a favorable opinion concerning Bronco. Perhaps forcing Coach Anae out as well as other coaching moves in the past couple of years with graduate assistants and other young coaches has soured Vai on BYU Football.

Somewhere, UT

Great article Vai. That is what this life is all about, growing your family. Whether it be your children, office, team, church or neighborhood helping others reach their potential is what needs to be done. Maybe you should take this message up the road to D.C. and see if anyone will listen to you there so we can improve this country!

Provo, Utah

It's been obvious for some time that Vai prefers his friend and former Cougar teammate, Kyle Whittingham, over a man he doesn't know and who had the audacity to fire a Polynesian. He already wrote a whole hatchet job article on Coach Mendenhall for that one. But can he seriously count Norm Chow or Gary Andersen as Whittingham's proteges??

Norm Chow was a head coach in Hawaii before Kyle ever even played for BYU! Chow went to BYU as a graduate assistant in 1973 (Kyle was 15 at the time). It was Lavell Edwards who kept promoting him up the ladder. Plus, Chow has already been a head coach for USC back in 2010 -- BEFORE going to Utah. So, coaching a mere 1 year at Utah does not in any logical sense make him one of Kyle's "branches"!

Likewise, Gary Andersen had already been a head coach at Southern Utah University before ever coaching at the U. It is also a stretch to say that Kyle made him a head coach.

Saying that Bronco does not recognize and develop talent is to ignore his young coaching staff. That is precisely what he is doing.

Boise, ID

I cannot agree on Vai's take regarding Chow. Lavell is responsable for developing Chow. It is clear to me that Vai has soured on Bronco. Ever since Anai left and Bronco did not hire a particular grad assistant I have detected a negative vibe from Vai towards Bronco. I have raised this in numerous posts but DN has always refused to post them. I am sure they will not post this one either. Cant let your columnists take any heat?

Salt Lake City, UT

This is a nice promotional article for your buddy, Kyle. But, honestly, in what delusional universe could Norm Chow ever be considered one of Kyle's branches?! Chow has been coaching football since your buddy, Kyle, was 11.

And why was it fine with you for Kyle NOT to hire Anae, but you had to write a whole huge article bashing Bronco for not keeping Anae? Oh yeah, I forgot: Kyle is your buddy and Bronco is not. Nice.

Salt Lake City, UT

Funny, I could have sworn Edwards spent years developing Chow as a coach. Apparently it was the one year of stellar offense he spent with Whittingham that did it.

What a ridiculous thought!

Somewhere in, Utah

Vai's opinon about Bronco appears to be biased because he (Vai) is a friend and former teammate of Anae and Whittingham. The beginning and ending of the article is great. The middle came across as a puff piece aimed to talk up a friend.

Jack Winters
Provo, Utah

Speaking of short-sightedness ... did you honestly think anyone with a brain was going to accept your premise that Chow is a product of Coach Whit? Steve Young played football with Whit -- he must be his product as well. Why not? It makes about the same amount of sense!

I also found it enlightening to read that you gave Kyle Whittingham a pass for not wanting Anae on his staff while (at the same time) you felt the need to berate Bronco Mendenhall for the same thing! I guess Bronco's REAL shortfalling is that he is NOT you former teammate and friend.

So. Cal Reader
San Diego, CA

Welcome back, Vai. Loved this article! I couldn't agree with you more about "teaching" and "developing leaders." I found of particular interest the following quote: "BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall made a bold move by promoting Brandon Doman to offensive coordinator last year, but I think he's limited the development of his staff by assuming the defensive coordinator job. It may work out short term, but he's sacrificing growth long term." Correct! As you compared him with Wittinghman & Meyer, it would be interesting and more relevant to the head coaching duties at BYU, a most unique coaching gig, to the coaching tree w/ LaVell Edwards. His "tree" of developing coaches would fill a forest!

May I be so bold to suggest that what you identified in this article is precisely why I believe Bronco has reached the zenith of his effectiveness at BYU. I've been a huge fan of his and love what he's brought the BYU program back to after Crowton (egad!); however, I don't see BYU advancing further under Bronco-- following in your "long term" scenario. Let's hope I'm wrong-- I hope I'm wrong. But, because of some of what you identified, I don't think I am.

Always look forward to your articles.

In Stitches
Provo, Utah

"Before he promoted Johnson to offensive coordinator, Whittingham and I briefly discussed the possibility of our mutual friend and former teammate Robert Anae, an experienced coordinator who was available and familiar with the Pac-12 after a year at the University of Arizona. In the end, Whittingham felt Johnson was ready, deserving and needed the chance to grow and further enhance his resume."

Then why did you crucify Bronco Mendenhall for doing the SAME EXACT THING for Doman?

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