January is often the month that college football coaches get nervous. With the season over, schools across the country are looking to replace coaches who have been fired or moved on to a different job. An assistant coach is usually even more vulnerable to changes during this time of year as coordinators move and leave assistant coaches behind without a guarantee they will be retained by the new staff.
The coaching staff at BYU has not been immune from these changes over the past several years. The news that Robert Anae was returning to Provo as the offensive coordinator ensured that changes would be occurring on Bronco Mendenhall’s staff.
Before the Anae hiring was even confirmed, the changes began. Long time Cougar assistant Lance Reynolds announced his retirement from BYU immediately following the Poinsettia Bowl win over San Diego State. Only two weeks later, Mark Weber agreed to a contract at Utah State. The announcement that Anae had agreed to return to his old job left the remaining members of the offensive coaching staff — especially Brandon Doman — in a state of limbo.
A few days later, change came at the expense of Ben Cahoon and Joe DuPaix; these two coaches were undoubtedly BYU-type guys, but were released this week. Meanwhile, former players Garett Tujague and Mark Atuaia were hired to positions on the staff. Whether Doman stays or goes is still unsettled as National Signing Day approaches, and the offensive staff is currently going through its second massive makeover in three years.
Less than a week after DuPaix and Cahoon were released, BYU announced that former BYU receiver and current Utah receivers' coach Aaron Roderick would be making the 40-mile trip down I-15 to coach along the Cougar sidelines. The change would be short-lived however. One day later, Roderick changed his mind and returned to the Utes. Fans of both teams immediately reacted on social media.
Coaching is obviously a very difficult business, filled with stress and constant change.
Landon Walters is a history and political science major at Salt Lake Community College. He is an avid sports fan and loves writing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org