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BYU offensive line coach Eric Mateos on the sidelines during BYU’s win over nationally ranked Boise State on Oct. 19, 2019 (Photo: Madeline Mortensen/BYU Photo)

Madeline Mortensen, BYU Photo

BYU offensive line coach Eric Mateos joins Jeff Grimes at Baylor

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Updated - Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:44 p.m. | Posted - Jan. 7, 2021 at 7:02 p.m.



PROVO — Turns out, BYU may need to find a new offensive assistant, after all.

Just a few days after offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes left BYU for Baylor, and the Cougars immediately promoted quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick to replace him, the new Power Five coordinator is reportedly set to take trusted offensive line coach Eric Mateos to Waco, Texas, as well.

The news was first reported by Sic Em 365, a fan site for Baylor Athletics, and confirmed by Football Scoop on Thursday evening. Baylor announced the move Friday afternoon.

"I am very grateful to Baylor University, Coach Aranda, and Mr. Rhoades for this fantastic opportunity to coach the offensive line for such a prestigious program," said Mateos, who was recently engaged to former BYU athletic department staffer Gillian Chavez. "I am excited to pour my heart into our players and compete for championships with a top-notch coaching staff. I am thrilled to see so many great friends and coaches that mentor the elite high school athletes around the state. Gillian and I look forward to building our first home together in Waco with the amazing people of Texas."

Mateos later added a personal message to the BYU fanbase from his personal Twitter account.

"BYU, thank you for embracing me. Thank you for your unwavering support which I sometimes didn't deserve," he tweeted. "Thank you to the amazing people that had my back in a new place.Thank you Kalani (Sitake, BYU head coach) and my great colleagues. Most importantly, thank you to the boys. Love you, and never lose your GRIT."

Mateos tweeted shortly after Grimes' departure the refrain "Go Cougs," along with a popular GIF that has been used for teams to say, "I'm not going anywhere" from the movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street" as a signal that he was staying in Provo.

Obviously, things change quickly during college football's silly season when the coaching carousel is roaring.

Baylor, which went 2-7 in 2020, initially tapped former BYU assistant and Troy offensive coordinator Ryan Pugh to head up the Bears' offensive line in Dave Aranda's second season as head coach. But Aranda announced late Wednesday night that Pugh's hire was being dialed back after the formal announcement.

"Since the recent announcement of Ryan Pugh as Baylor's OL coach, we have decided to move in a different direction," Aranda said in a statement from the school. "We are currently in the process of filling the resulting vacancy. We wish Ryan the best in his future endeavors."

Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades told ESPN Central Texas radio that Pugh's retraction was related to a "personnel" issue discovered after the school did its due diligence.

"There were just some things where we felt like we needed to go in another direction," Rhoades told the radio station. "That's probably the best way that I can explain it."

Instead, Grimes will look to tap into his other longtime protege to fill the position, much the same way he pulled Mateos from Texas State after Pugh departed Provo for his first coordinator job in the Sun Belt. Grimes and Mateos worked together at LSU, where Aranda previously served as defensive coordinator, making the trip to Waco a reunion for the trio.

Mateos led BYU's offensive line that included first-team All-American Brady Christensen, the left tackle who recently declared early for the 2021 NFL Draft. The Cougars are also set to lose seniors Chandon Herring, Tristen Hoge and Kieffer Longson off what has been their best offensive line in at least a decade, in addition to star quarterback Zach Wilson and wide receiver Dax Milne, among others.

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Sean Walker

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