BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae is following Bronco Mendenhall to take the same position with the Virginia Cavaliers, according to Dick Harmon of the Deseret News. In addition to Anae following Mendenhall to Charlottesville, he is taking three other offensive coaches with him. These four coaches will stay on with the program until after the Las Vegas Bowl against Utah on Dec. 19.
“I met with my players today and told them of my decision and new position,” Anae told the Deseret News. “I have asked three other coaches to join me on my offensive staff and they have accepted. They are Garett Tujague (offensive line), Mark Atuaia (running backs) and Jason Beck (quarterbacks).”
“I am excited to join Coach Mendenhall and work to win an ACC championship,” he said. “I am extremely appreciative of having received this opportunity and that my talents and skills are appreciated at Virginia.”
One coach that Anae to bring along was wide receivers coach Guy Holiday and that was because that position was not open at Virginia. Holiday has plans to stay on at BYU, assuming the new head coach will have him.
One reason that Anae decided to go to Virginia because he was “underwhelmed” with the interest shown toward his abilities to lead a team as the coaching search began. This move provides the information that Anae was not a serious candidate.
Anae’e offense a BYU was very successful and this year the Cougars offense was especially good in the red zone where they scored 46 of 49 times, and one of those non-scores was a kneel down against Utah State. The offense also scored 34.2 points per game and was 21st in the country in passing yards per game.
Anae’s job this year coaching the offense deserves high praise since starting quarterback Taysom Hill played just over one half of one game and he never had running back Jamaal Williams this year. There were suspensions and injuries across the offensive line and injuries to the running back group, and he had true freshman Tanner Mangum who performed very well despite returning from his LDS mission in June.
These coaches are a big loss as Tujague did a great job of bringing in toughness to the offensive line, Atuaia helped coach the depth at running back which has been needed with injuries and then there is Beck who helped vastly improve Hill’s throwing and was able to get Mangum up to a high level of play just months removed from his mission.
Anae has not been involved in the discussions for who will be the next BYU head coach and is unaware who will replace Mendenhall.