It was expected that multiple BYU football assistants were going to join Bronco Mendenhall at UVA.
As reported this morning by former BYU saftey Ben Criddle, defensive backs coach Nick Howell and outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga are set to join Bronco as he assembles his new staff in Charlottesville. FootballScoop also is reporting that Howell and Poppinga will leave.
Confirmed: Defensive coaches leaving w/ Bronco will be Howell & Poppinga. Tidwell and Kaufusi will not be going to UVA.— Benjamin Criddle (@criddler21) December 10, 2015
Many anticipated that Howell, Bronco's right hand man, was going to follow the head coach. Bronco is one of Howell's biggest advocates even after the 2014 season where Howell took the lead role as defensive coordinator and there was a noticeable drop-off in performance. Despite the rocky defensive season, Bronco praised Howell and continued to say that he would be a very successful coach in the future.
Poppinga has also received high praise from Mendenhall and coaches what is probably he most important position in the 3-4 defense Bronco has employed during his career at BYU. There was an outside chance that Poppinga could have been a candidate for the defensive coordinator spot but with an impending regime change, that wasn't on the table.
The report also states that longtime BYU assistants Paul Tidwell and Steve Kaufusi will not be leaving to Virginia. It's unsure if either of the two coaches will be retained next season as that decision will likely be made once the new head coach is named.
Tidwell has been at BYU since 2000, dating back to the coaching days of LaVell Edwards. The assistant has been worked on both sides of the ball, coaching BYU's running backs, inside linebackers and special teams. Kaufusi, who will have at least one of his kids playing BYU sports for the next few years, has been the defensive line assistant since 2002.