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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougar fans hold a sign during the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. BYU beat San Diego 23-6.

SAN DIEGO — After 29 seasons as an assistant coach at BYU, Lance Reynolds is retiring.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall made the announcement after the Cougars' 23-6 victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl Thursday night.

"Our team gave coach Lance Reynolds a fantastic retirement gift after 31 years at the same institution, and serving as my assistant head coach," Mendenhall said. "He's stepping back from BYU football. He addressed our team in the locker room. Our team gave him a standing ovation. A lot of hugs and different things. Very seldom in today's world of college football does someone stay at the same institution for 31 seasons. It's remarkable."

Reynolds has been BYU's assistant head coach and tight ends coach. He played for the Cougars in the 1970s and started coaching at BYU in 1985. Before that, he was BYU's junior varsity coordinator and a graduate assistant in 1979-80.

His four sons — Lance, Dallas, Matt and Houston — have all played for the Cougars.

"It's very fitting, as he talked about it to our team, being in the next locker room over, winning a national championship here, spraying soda pop on each other's heads and now he finishes in the Poinsettia Bowl with another victory," Mendenhall said. "I just wanted to acknowledge him and his efforts."

HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE? As expected, SDSU fans far outnumbered BYU supporters at Qualcomm Stadium. Announced attendance was 35,442.

BYU officials said the school sold about 6,500 Poinsettia Bowl tickets out of the 11,000 allotted to it. BYU donated a couple thousand tickets to military families and San Diego youth groups.

HOMECOMING: BYU senior defensive lineman Russell Tialavea played his final collegiate game in his hometown Thursday night.

The Oceanside High product was profiled in a San Diego Union-Tribune story Thursday.

"It's gonna be something special," Tialavea told the newspaper. "Especially being with these guys, the BYU football team. It's just really cool to be able to play with these guys again, one last time."

Tialavea was reunited with an old friend, SDSU linebacker Jake Fely, who is five years younger than Tialavea.

BYU HONORS SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY VICTIMS: The Cougars honored the 20 children and six staff members who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., by wearing special helmet decals Thursday night.

The decal featured a blue balloon, a pink balloon and a yellow balloon in honor of the boys, girls and staff members that lost their lives.

Cougar defensive secondary coach Nick Howell is a friend of the Parker family that lost daughter Emilie in the tragedy. Nick and his wife, Brooke, both attended Ben Lomond High in Ogden with Emilie's parents, Robbie and Alyssa.

JC SIGNEE: BYU confirmed Thursday that defensive back Trenton Trammell, who played at the City College of San Francisco, has signed a letter of intent with the Cougars.

Trammell, a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback from Oakland, is expected to enroll in January.

"Trent is a talented young man," Mendenhall said. "He is not only an excellent football player but also an experienced athlete from a program with a proven record of winning football. We look forward to having him join our program."

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Trammell is a junior, with three years to complete his two remaining seasons of eligibility.

During his two years at City College of San Francisco, Trammell helped the Rams post a 22-2 record and a championship in 2011. He recorded five interceptions and 22 pass breakups. Trammell runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He was also recruited by Boise State, Utah, New Mexico and UTEP.

FLAG BEARERS: Running back Adam Hine carried out the team flag. Linebacker Alani Fua carried out the special teams flag. And former Cougar defensive back Jernaro Gilford (1999, 2001-03) carried out the alumni flag.