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BYU football: Mendenhall may shake up offensive staff

Published January 3, 2011 2:34 pm

BYU football • Mendenhall told coaches to look for jobs as he decides who to invite back.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • Brigham Young football coach Bronco Mendenhall is apparently prepared to shake up his offensive coaching staff, a shuffling that may include the dismissal of at least one offensive coach.

The Salt Lake Tribune has learned that Mendenhall on Monday advised all of his offensive coaches — including offensive coordinator Robert Anae, running backs coach Lance Reynolds, offensive line coach Mark Weber, receivers coach Patrick Higgins and quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman — to start looking for other jobs while he evaluates them and decides which staffers, if any, he will retain.

After reports regarding the meeting surfaced on the internet Monday afternoon, BYU sports information officials issued a statement saying that "any reports that BYU football coaches have been released from the staff are inaccurate."

However, the statement acknowledged the meeting took place, saying Mendenhall "has begun the evaluation process of the recently completed season."

Mendenhall "indicated a restructuring of the offensive staff is being evaluated" and told the coaches "this includes possible changes in assignments and personnel," the statement said.

The review will continue after the holidays and "has no specific timetable," according to the statement.

Asked two weeks ago if there would be any changes to his coaching staff, Mendenhall said he would evaluate every coach in the weeks following the bowl game, as is his custom.

Mendenhall dismissed defensive coordinator Jaime Hill on Oct. 2 and put himself in charge of the defense.

After the Cougars lost 31-3 to TCU on Oct. 16, Mendenhall gave Anae and other offensive coaches a vote of confidence, and said there would be no more changes until at least the end of the season.

A defensive coach told The Tribune on Monday that no such meeting was held for the defensive coaches, and said he was unaware mid-afternoon of the offensive-coaches meeting.

At the news conference after Saturday's 52-24 win over UTEP, Mendenhall took responsibility for "mishandling" the quarterback situation at the beginning of the season, although at the time he said it was Anae's decision on how the quarterbacks were being rotated.

Quarterbacks Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps were rotated until Nelson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the third game, against Florida State.

The move had slowed the progress of Heaps, who shined in the second half of the season.

"I think the worst thing that happened to us was beating Washington in the opener [with two quarterbacks]," Mendenhall said. "It made me think it could work."


Twitter: @drewjay




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