Mendenhall Puts Offensive Staff On Notice


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PROVO — BYU's offensive coaches were asked to seek other employment while head coach Bronco Mendenhall conducts individual staff evaluations in the coming days to see which assistant coaches he will retain.

The Deseret News learned this action took place this morning and it has been confirmed by several valued sources. BYU's athletic department has not responded to a request for an official confirmation of the move.

The offensive staff is comprised of offensive coordinator Robert Anae; assistant head coach and running backs coach Lance Reynolds; offensive line coach Mark Weber; wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins; and quarterback coach Brandon Doman. All coaches have been invited to reapply while the evaluation period takes place.

The Deseret News first reported Mendenhall fired defensive coordinator Jaimie Hill on Oct. 2, the day after the Cougars lost to Utah State in Logan.

This reported action is the first step in what has been rumored to be a shake-up of the offensive staff.

Mendenhall told reporters and his players after Saturday's bowl win over UTEP that the way they held together and turned around the season made it one of the most satisfying seasons he'd had as a coach. He also took the blame for a quarterback situation that may have contributed to a rocky start.

"It was a nice transition for us, with this particular team, with so many questions and, quite frankly, some mishandling of the team early on my part in trying to figure out how to manage quarterbacks," Mendenhall said.

"I learned so much. I had never been through having a freshman quarterback, let alone having two brand new quarterbacks with identical percentages and grades all the way through spring ball and fall camp. I was praying a clear starter would emerge. I think the worst thing that happened to us was beating Washington in the opener with two quarterbacks. It made me think it could work. It prolonged me forcing myself to put in all the reps into a player.

"That's hard to do when you love both players and they're so equal. I think it hurt us at the beginning of the year. And it's no one's fault but my own."

The Cougars are fresh off a 52-24 win over UTEP in the fifth-annual New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, finishing with a 7-6 record after starting 1-4 this season. The seven wins is the worst record by a BYU team since Mendenhall took over in 2005.

"This just shows the continued improvement of this team," said Mendenhall on Saturday.

"When you add the players we redshirted with the majority of these guys coming back, I'm excited for our schedule next year and I'm excited for the future, mostly because now the younger players have seen how difficult it is to win games at the college level."

E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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