PROVO — BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae will join departing head coach Bronco Mendenhall in the same position at the University of Virginia, the longtime BYU assistant announced Wednesday.
Anae met with his players Wednesday and told them the news, and confirmed that he has also asked offensive line coach Garrett Tujague, running backs coach Mark Atuaia and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck to join him on the new staff in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"I'm very proud of the work we did at BYU with the offense after many challenges we faced and I'm excited to have this bunch (coaches) follow me to the new opportunity," Anae said. "I'm excited to join coach Mendenhall and work to win an ACC championship. I am extremely appreciative of having received this opportunity and that my talents and skills are appreciated at Virginia."
Anae was serving in his second stint as BYU offensive coordinator, joining the coaching staff in 2005 before leaving to take the co-offensive coordinator job at Arizona in 2010 and returning in 2013 to coach the inside receivers and offensive line as BYU's top assistant coach.
Anae was considered a candidate to be named BYU's next head coach, one of several active LDS coaches in college football that athletic director Tom Holmoe was considering among his list of 40 or more potential interviews.
A three-time Broyles Award nominee for the nation's top assistant coach (at BYU, Texas Tech and Arizona), Anae was a lineman on BYU's national championship team in 1984 before being drafted by the New Jersey Generals of the USFL.
Additional reports indicate Anae tried to bring wide receivers coach Guy Holliday to Virginia, but there wasn't room on the new coaching staff for the former UTEP coach.
Holliday reportedly told his players during a team meeting that he hoped to remain at BYU and would not be searching for another job unless he was told by a BYU administrator that he would not be retained by the new coaching staff. He recently posted on his Twitter account that he has closed on a house in South Jordan, adding in another post, "If I have the chance, I'm in" in reference to staying at BYU.
Contributing: Rod Zundel