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Provo • Five weeks after he was hired as BYU's head football coach, Kalani Sitake has completed his staff.
Sitake announced Thursday afternoon the hiring of former Cougars Jernaro Gilford and Reno Mahe as the school's cornerbacks coach and running backs coach, respectively. Also Thursday, former Cougar Tevita Ofahengaue was named the director of recruiting operations.
Gilford and Mahe become the ninth and 10th full-time coaches hired by Sitake, who became BYU's head coach on Dec. 19.
BYU also announced the responsibilities of each new coach on Thursday.
Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer will coach quarterbacks, while assistant head coach Ed Lamb will serve as the special teams coordinator and safeties coach. Defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki will coach linebackers.
As previously announced, Steve Kaufusi will be the lone holdover from Bronco Mendenhall's staff and will coach the defensive line. Ben Cahoon returns to coach the receivers after a three-year absence, while Steve Clark moves from Weber State's offensive coordinator to coaching BYU's tight ends. Former BYU player and assistant coach Mike Empey is the new offensive line coach.
"I am pleased to announce the final additions to the coaching staff and our director of recruiting," Sitake said in a school news release. "Jernaro was not only a great corner but also has done an excellent job as a coach developing young men into NFL-caliber players. Reno is energetic, loves BYU and brings NFL experience as a running back and return specialist."
Sitake said Ofahengaue "has excellent recruiting connections and is passionate about helping young men be successful."
The staff now includes seven former BYU players, in addition to Sitake, a former BYU fullback.
Gilford played for BYU from 1999-2003 and was a first-team all-Mountain West Conference honoree. He spent the past two seasons at Southern Utah University under the direction of Lamb.
"I feel blessed by the opportunities I've received both at SUU and now at BYU," Gilford said. "SUU will always have a special place with me as the first Division I school to give me a chance to coach. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to come back to BYU, where I played college football, and contribute once again to such a great program."
Gilford earned a degree in sociology from BYU and a master's in education from Whittier College in 2014.
Mahe played running back and receiver for BYU in 1998 and from 2001-2002 after a stint at Dixie State College. The Brighton High product played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles for five seasons and led the NFL in punt return average is 2005.
"It is very humbling to have this opportunity," Mahe said. "I am excited to return to this unique and great university, and I am grateful for the chance to contribute to the BYU football program coaching running backs."
Mahe has eight children and graduated from BYU with a degree in sociology. He spent the 2015 season assisting at Brighton High.
Ofahengaue played tight end for BYU from 1997-2000 and was the final pick of the 2001 NFL draft, by the Arizona Cardinals, to earn the nickname "Mr. Irrelevant." He played in the NFL for two seasons with the Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars.
BYU's 2016 football coaching staff
Head coach • Kalani Sitake
Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks • Ty Detmer
Defensive coordinator, linebackers • Ilaisa Tuiaki
Assistant head coach, special teams, safeties • Ed Lamb
Defensive line • Steve Kaufusi
Cornerbacks • Jernaro Gilford
Receivers • Ben Cahoon
Tight ends • Steve Clark
Running backs • Reno Mahe
Offensive line • Mike Empey
Strength and conditioning • Nu'u Tafisi
Support staff • Tevita Ofahenuaue (recruiting operations), Russell Tialavea (football operations), A.J. Middleton (asst. S&C coach)