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8 potential candidates to become BYU's next offensive coordinator

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PROVO — BYU head coach Kalani Sitake removed Ty Detmer as offensive coordinator in a move announced Monday morning, just days after BYU finished the 2017 college football season at 4-9 with one of the least productive offenses in the nation.

Making a change on offense is never easy, nor is relieving a legendary player at BYU like the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner.

All assistant coaches, including Detmer, are still under contract at BYU — but that may change by the will of the next offensive coordinator. So where do the Cougars go next?

Here is a list of potential candidates to be BYU’s next offensive coordinator.

Aaron Roderick, BYU

A Bountiful native and former BYU and Ricks College receiver, Roderick began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Cougars from 1999-2001. After brief stints at Snow College and Southern Utah, where he was offensive coordinator from 2003-04, Roderick joined fellow BYU alum Kyle Whittingham’s staff at Utah in 2005 as wide receivers coach. He also briefly accepted an assistant coaching job at BYU in 2013 before returning to Utah after less than a day.

The 44-year-old also coached the Utes quarterbacks and served as co-offensive coordinator on two occasions — in 2010, and with Dennis Erickson for two years in 2015-16 before being fired Dec. 30, 2016.

Roderick, who was the Utes’ longest-tenured assistant coach under Whittingham at the time, helped Utah to a 9-4 record in 2016, but averaged just 29.8 points and 216.7 yards per game with a red-zone offense that ranked 106th nationally converting on 7.8 percent of possessions.

While at Utah, Roderick was instrumental in recruiting, including luring four-star quarterback Jack Tuttle to commit for his freshman season in 2018.

Roderick spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst with the Cougars.

Photo: Jaren Wilkey, BYU
Photo: Jaren Wilkey, BYU

Steve Clark, BYU

We might as well mention the other assistant coach with offensive coordinator experience currently on staff in Provo.

A 1992 graduate of BYU who didn’t play college football, Clark was one of the most experienced coaches on Sitake’s staff when the first-time head coach took over prior to the 2016 season.

A one-time assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Provo High School from 1994-2000, Clark moved on to jobs at Saint Mary’s (2003), Utah (2004) and BYU (2005-07) before earning his first full-time coordinator role at Southern Utah in 2008 under current BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb.

From there, Clark moved on to oversee Weber State’s offense as it completed its first winning season in five years, a 6-5 record in 2015 prior to joining Sitake’s staff at BYU. In two seasons in Provo, he’s been the only full-time assistant coach in the coach’s box during every game, and helped mentor freshman tight end Matt Bushman to a team-high 520 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2017.

Kevin McGiven, Oregon State

A native of Orem, McGiven was most recently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for former Oregon State coach Gary Andersen before being released with most of the staff following last week’s Civil War loss to Oregon.

Under McGiven, the Beavers averaged just 196.2 yards and 20.7 points per game en route to a 1-11 record that included Andersen’s mid-season flight from Corvallis wherein he willingly waived his significant buyout clause.

Fesi Sitake, Weber State

A four-year assistant for the Wildcats, Fesi Sitake spent two seasons as offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator in Ogden and has helped head coach Jay Hill engineer a massive turnaround that took Weber State from 2-10 in their first season to 10-2 and the second round of the FCS playoffs Saturday at Southern Utah.

A native of Sandy, Fesi Sitake is a cousin of BYU head coach Kalani Sitake who played collegiately at SUU. A two-time all-Great West honoree for the Thunderbirds, he amassed 877 yards as a senior in 2010, the ninth-most in school history. He was also a student-assistant on Lamb’s staff that finished 8-5 in 2013 and advanced to the FCS playoffs for the first time in school history.

Under Fesi Sitake, who is also quarterbacks coach, Weber State’s offense averaged 399.2 yards and 34.5 points per game en route to a Big Sky Conference co-championship in 2017.

Paul Peterson, Snow College

A native of South Jordan, Peterson played quarterback at Snow College and Boston College. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant BYU in 2006 before moving on to stints at North Carolina State and Southern Utah, and was the offensive coordinator at Sacramento State.

In his first season with the Badgers, Peterson’s offense has averaged 50.9 points and 536.2 yards per game en route to an 8-1 record and an invitation to the El Toro Bowl in Arizona.

Jason Beck, Virginia

A former BYU backup quarterback and assistant coach, Bronco Mendenhall’s current quarterbacks coach in Charlottesville has guided UVA’s Kurt Benkert to program records in single-game passing (421), and his 21 passing touchdowns are tied for the second-most in Cavalier history with two other players.

After graduating from BYU in 2006, having thrown for 553 yards primarily as a backup, Beck worked at LSU, Weber State, Stephen F. Austin and Simon Fraser before returning to Provo and mentoring Taysom Hill, Christian Stewart and Tanner Mangum in his freshman season in 2015.

A California native, Beck’s wife Jaime is a former BYU soccer player, four-year starter and All-American midfielder from 2002-05.

Justin Walterscheid, Southern Utah

A 2005 graduate of SUU from Grand Junction, Colorado, Walterscheid is in his fifth season as the Thunderbirds’ offensive coordinator and running backs coach after a standout career at wide receiver and kick returner. He served as a graduate assistant at Utah in 2009, as a defensive assistant at Weber State in 2010, and he played briefly with the Arizona Rattlers in the Arena Football League before returning to Cedar City as running backs coach.

Under Walterscheid, the Thunderbirds’ offense averaged 35.5 points and 457.3 yards per game en route to a 9-2 season in 2017.

Jeff Grimes, LSU

A native of Garland, Texas and 1991 graduate of Texas-El Paso, Grimes is in his fourth season as offensive line coach at Louisiana State.

The offensive line coach at BYU from 2004-06, Grimes also has spent time at Rice, Texas A&M, Hardin-Simmons, Boise State, Colorado, Auburn and Virginia Tech before taking over as line coach and running game coordinator in Baton Rouge in 2014.

In his first three seasons with the Tigers, Grimes had three players drafted in the NFL Draft and seven earn All-SEC honors, including second-round pick Ethan Pocic at center. His line blocked for three-straight 1,000-yard rushers, including Leonard Fournette and Derris Guice.

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A proud graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Walker has covered BYU for since 2015, while also mixing in prep sports, education, and anything else his editors assign him to do.


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