PROVO — With just a little more than two weeks before BYU opens spring practices, coach Kalani Sitake announced that Eric Mateos has been hired as the program’s new offensive line coach Thursday.

Mateos replaces Ryan Pugh, who left the Cougars after one season to become the new offensive coordinator at Troy.

“Eric is a great person with quality character that will fit in phenomenally with our players and staff,” said offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. “He will take our young group a step further and is a master at building confidence and group cohesiveness. I know our players will really respond well to him.”

Mateos arrives in Provo after spending the past two years as the offensive line coach at Texas State. Mateos coached an All-Sun Belt offensive lineman in each of those two seasons.

Not surprisingly, Grimes and Mateos have worked together before. Mateos was the tight ends coach at Louisiana State in 2016 after starting that season as an offensive line graduate assistant under Grimes.

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Prior to his time at LSU, Mateo served with another proven O-line coach, Sam Pittman, at Arkansas from 2013-15. The Razorbacks surrendered the fewest sacks in the Southeastern Conference in those three seasons and they also produced a First-Team All-American and two Freshmen All-Americans. Arkansas was the only school in the country to have a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in 2014.

Mateos, who earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations at Southwest Baptist in 2011 and a master’s degree from Arkansas in 2015, started his coaching career as an assistant offensive line coach at Southwest Baptist in 2011. He then was the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in 2012.

Mateos was the starting center and team captain at Southwest Baptist in 2009 and 2010.