The Deseret News is reporting Wednesday night that BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae is joining the staff of new Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall, and bringing three Cougar assistants with him.
Garett Tujague will coach the offensive line, Mark Atuaia will coach running backs, and Jason Beck will coach quarterbacks, according to the report.
FootballScoop.com is reporting that BYU defensive coordinator Nick Howell and linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga are also headed to Virginia. That site also reports that BYU strength and conditioning coach Frank Wintrich is expected to join the Virginia staff as well.
“I am excited to join Coach Mendenhall and work to win an ACC championship. I am extremely appreciative of having received this opportunity and that my talents and skills are appreciated at Virginia,” Anae told the Deseret News.
Anae told the paper that he had informed the BYU team of his decision to join Mendenhall at UVA earlier in the day on Wednesday.
He implied in an interview with the paper that BYU had expressed no interest in having him stay on with the program, saying he was “underwhelmed” in the interest shown in him after Mendenhall announced last week that he was leaving BYU for Virginia after 11 seasons at the school.
“You have to go where the work is, and right now that is where I’m needed and wanted,” Anae said.
Early on, Anae had been considered by some in the know as a possible candidate to replace Mendenhall as the head coach at BYU.
On Wednesday, he sounded ready for the challenges up ahead.
“I’m very proud of the work we did at BYU with the offense after many challenges we faced, and I’m excited to have this bunch follow me to the new opportunity,” Anae said.
– Story by Chris Graham