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Ordinarily, I scoff at suggestions that famous alumni would make great college football coaches. In any profession, I've always believed that people should work their way into important positions.

Kyle Whittingham's spending six years on the Idaho State staff, for instance, is the kind of apprenticeship that should be required, as opposed to having big-name former players immediately join the staffs of schools such as BYU or Utah.

The biggest reason for my stance is many of these would-be coaches have no idea what they're getting into in college programs, in terms of the workload and other aspects of the job that are less than glamorous. Ty Detmer is different, and that's why I'm endorsing his arrival as BYU's offensive coordinator.

As much as I admire Karl Malone and his work ethic, I've never pictured him working full-time in coaching, because he has too many other interests. In Detmer's case, he'll have to give up a lot of hunting opportunities, which is why I always wondered if he ever would want to coach in college or the NFL.

He's obviously willing to do it at this point in his life (age 48), and that's good for BYU ­— especially the Cougars' quarterback. Tanner Mangum's belief that everything would work out well for him in this coaching transition is being rewarded. Mangum went from the strong possibility of a triple-option disciple, Navy's Ken Niumatalolo, being hired by the Cougars to having Detmer operate a traditional BYU passing offense as a key member of Kalani Sitake's staff.

The Heisman Trophy part of Detmer's resume doesn't impress me, in terms of this job, but everything else about his background is vital.

Detmer grew up as a son of a Texas high school football coach, which is about the equivalent of a college coach anywhere else. The 14 seasons he spent in the NFL, mostly as a backup quarterback, were good preparation for a coaching career, because that's basically how he functioned with six franchises. He was involved enough in the game-planning with those teams that he learned a lot about what it takes to design an offense and call plays at the highest level of football, which will translate well to BYU.

And, just as important, Detmer has spent the past seven years as head coach at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. The private-school league that includes the Crusaders is not exactly the "Friday Night Lights" level of the sport in Texas, but it offers decent competition and undoubtedly provided Detmer with some good experience. He lived through an 0-10 season in his first year, so he's clearly willing to persevere through tough times.

Weird coincidence: Future college coaches Steve Spurrier, Brandon Doman and Detmer all wore No. 11 for the San Francisco 49ers (preceding Alex Smith). Doman coached BYU's quarterbacks for six years before becoming the offensive coordinator, so it could be said that he was more qualified than Detmer to take on that role. It's not an easy job, in any sense.

Yet I'm convinced that Detmer's extensive NFL background gives him a great chance to succeed in his return to Provo. It will be fun to watch him work, that's for sure.

Twitter: @tribkurt