BYU's offensive staff has seen its second overhaul in three offseasons. But a familiar face returns to run the show, this time with his own hand-picked staff and new ideas born under the tutelage of a spread football master. In the face of the program's most difficult schedule, here are the new offensive coaches ready to face the 2013 campaign.
Anae has chosen an experienced staff, the running back position excepting, and also a well-educated one. Anae and one other assistant have doctorate degrees, while two others have masters degrees.
HOMETOWN: Laie, Hawaii
FOOTBALL ALMA MATER: BYU, 1984
Ph.D Sociology, BYU 1999
Masters of Sociology, BYU 1990
Bachelors, BYU 1986
COACHING EXPERIENCE: 24 years
2011-12: Offensive line / run-game coordinator, Arizona
2005-10: Offensive coordinator / inside receivers, BYU
2000-04: Offensive line, Texas Tech
1997-98: Offensive line, UNLV
1996: Offensive line, Boise State
1992-95: Offensive line, Ricks College
1990-91: Graduate assistant, BYU
1986-87: Graduate assistant, Hawaii
Anae came to BYU in 2005 with the Air Raid under his arm. After spending five years at Texas Tech with Mike Leach -- the BYU alums helped institute the Air Raid on its biggest stage to that time -- Anae brought that offense and modified it to fit the large offensive line and differing-style running backs of BYU.
The result? The all-time leading receiver, tight end, and two running backs (the latter broke the formers records) all played under Anae. The Cougar O finished as a top-10 unit in three of Anae's six years at the helm.
But staff discord led Anae to leave BYU to pursue other opportunities.
Now, he returns at the request of head coach Bronco Mendenhall to fix a broken offense. But things will be different. Anae has his own staff this time. He also comes with new style elements. His first tenure at BYU was marked by a deliberate, ball-control spread passing game and featured power running on the legs of backs like Harvey Unga and Fui Vakapuna.
In 2013, he steps back onto the campus where he won a national championship with phrases like "go fast, go hard" and "no time for a huddle."
The biggest criticism of Anae's BYU offense was predictability in the face of good defensive coaching. Despite that, his offenses produced at a high level. Now if new elements of a spread run game and high-tempo pace accompany his previous production, things could be awesome.
Of course, optimism pairs itself with coaching changes almost every time in the eyes of fans. But the prospects are exciting.
HOMETOWN: Pleasanton, California
FOOTBALL ALMA MATER: BYU, 1991
Masters of educational counseling, University of Redlands 1997
Bachelors of recreational management, BYU 1992
COACHING EXPERIENCE: 20 years
2007-12: Head Coach, College of the Canyons
1998-2006: Assistant head coach / offensive line, College of the Canyons
1996-97: Offensive line, University of Redlands
1993-95: Offensive line, Chabot College
Where else to go next after the offensive coordinator than the offensive line. The 2013 signing day roster and comments from national signing day made clear Anae's priority #1 to fix.
After playing at Chabot College where he was a JC All-American, Tujague (pronounced TWO-jay, players have called him 2J in text) transferred to BYU and helped anchor the offensive line that protected Heisman winner Ty Detmer.
Tujague helped College of the Canyons restart its football program in 1998 as offensive line and assistant head coach, and was the only remaining member of that inaugural staff when he resigned to coach at BYU.
HOMETOWN: Oxnard, California
FOOTBALL ALMA MATER: BYU, 2006
Masters of communication, BYU (Was in progress 2 years ago, so probably done now?)
Bachelors of communication, BYU 2006
COACHING EXPERIENCE: 6 years
2012: Offensive coordinator, Simon Fraser
2009-2011: Quarterbacks coach, Weber State
2008: Graduate assistant, LSU
2007: Graduate assistant, BYU
The forever-known "Ja. Beck" transferred to BYU from College of the Canyons and started just one game as a Cougar, beating Utah State in 2006. Backing up "Jo. Beck" -- John, of no relation -- Jason simply couldn't find the field. No shame in that, as Beck was one of BYU's all-time best in efficiency.
After a year of coaching at BYU, Beck tutored under Gary Crowton's offense at LSU, then coached quarterbacks at Weber State for three seasons. At Weber State, he coached Cameron Higgins, who was twice a finalist for the Walter Payton award (the FCS Heisman).
In 2012, Beck was offensive coordinator for Division II school Simon Fraser, whose offense ranked 31st in DII at 440 yards per game.
HOMETOWN: Baltimore, Maryland
FOOTBALL ALMA MATER: Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, 1987
Bachelors, Cheyney 1987
COACHING EXPERIENCE: 22 years
2008-2012: Wide receiver coach / recruiting coordinator, UTEP
2007: WR coach, Cornell
2003-2006: WR coach, Mississippi State
2000-2002: WR/TE coach, Western Michigan
1995-1999: Offensive Coordinator, Alabama State
1992-1994: Offensive Coordinator, Tuskegee
1991: Clark-Atlanta University
A veteran collegiate coach, Holliday was the surprise hire of the staff. Atuaia was expected from the beginning, Tujague's name came out, as did Jason Beck's. But unlike the others, whose names I heard in connection to the job at least a couple days in advance, Holliday's name wasn't connected to BYU until just hours before the hire. Most recently at UTEP, Holliday was not retained by the Miners' new coach after Mike Price retired.
Holliday brings a long and diverse set of experience to the BYU receiver corp.
HOMETOWN: Laie, Hawaii
FOOTBALL ALMA MATER: BYU, 1996
Juris Doctorate, BYU 2011
Masters of public administration, BYU 2011
Bachelors, BYU-Hawaii 2003
COACHING EXPERIENCE: 0 years
Interestingly, the most sure anyone was about Robert Anae's coming hires was for Atuaia, the candidate with no official coaching experience. Though if you've watched BYU football for any period of time recently, you will have seen Atuaia jumping around and/or whipping a towel around on the sidelines.
Atuaia ran the ball -- sparingly compared to Brian McKenzie and Ronney Jenkins -- for the 1996 BYU team that went 14-1, still the only team in FBS history to play 15 games in a season (enjoy that one, it will probably be matched with the coming playoff era.)
Recently at BYU, Atuaia has worked in BYU administration after earning a J.D. He was named as the assistant to the athletic director over student services in 2012.