PROVO — BYU's offensive coaching staff is undergoing a bit of a shakeup as offensive line coach Ryan Pugh is leaving to become the new offensive coordinator and O-line coach at Troy University.
Pugh, 30, will join coach Chip Lindsey's staff at Troy, the Trojans announced Monday. Lindsey was named the head coach at Troy, located in Troy, Alabama, last week, replacing Neal Brown, who took the head coaching job at West Virginia.
"I'm excited for Coach Pugh. This is a great opportunity for Ryan to become a coordinator in his home state," said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. "He is an outstanding coach, and I appreciate all he has done to help our program. I wish him the best at Troy."
Pugh has never been an offensive coordinator. He arrived in Provo last December when he was hired by his mentor, first-year BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes.
Previously, Pugh was the offensive line coach at UT-San Antonio from 2016-17 and he was an O-line graduate assistant at Louisiana State (2015), Cincinnati (2014), Virginia Tech (2013) and Auburn (2012).
"I'm excited to be back home in the state of Alabama and to have the opportunity to work with Coach Lindsey," Pugh said in a statement. "You cannot help but be excited when you have a great offensive mind in coach Lindsey as the head coach of a tradition-rich program like Troy. I'm honored and thankful to be at Troy and look forward to pushing these young men and this program to the top of the Group of Five."
"Ryan is one of the top young coaches in this profession and has a great rapport with his players," Lindsey said. "He was an All-American and team captain as a four-year starter at Auburn, and his transition into the coaching profession has been seamless. I know firsthand the type of leader that Ryan is from coaching with him, and I am excited to have him on our staff and working with our student-athletes."
At BYU, Pugh coached a young offensive line that included a few freshmen starters, including center James Empey, who was named a freshman All-American last week. Pugh helped the Cougars achieve a 7-6 record and a dominating 49-18 victory over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
One potential candidate to replace Pugh is Dallas Reynolds, who has served as a BYU graduate assistant since 2017. Reynolds was a four-year starter at BYU and was named a Freshman All-American and a first-team All-Mountain West Conference tackle as a junior and senior.
Reynolds, the son of former longtime BYU assistant Lance Reynolds, played in the National Football League for seven seasons.
Pugh and Grimes share a connection that goes back to the days when Grimes was the offensive line coach at Auburn and Pugh played for him. They won a national championship together with the Tigers in 2010. Pugh was a three-time All-SEC selection, earning All-America honors as a senior, and was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy.
When Grimes asked Pugh if he wanted to join the staff at BYU, there wasn’t much hesitation on Pugh’s part.22 comments on this story
“He and I spent some time talking about the opportunity more than anything, making sure it’s the right fit for my family and the best thing to do for my career, too,” Pugh said last April. “There wasn’t any hesitation in the opportunity to get back working with him and being in Provo and living here. I had heard how much of an impact Provo had made on him during his first stop here. I knew kind of what I was getting into before I got here. It’s been nothing but great since I’ve been here.”
Pugh and his wife, Cathey Lee, had their first child last spring.