As reported by Dick Harmon of the Deseret News, offensive coordinator Robert Anae has accepted the same position at Virginia on Bronco Mendenhall's staff.
With the announcement of his departure, Anae also told Harmon he is taking three offensive assistants with him. Following Bronco and Anae will be offensive line coach Garett Tujague, quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, and running backs coach Mark Atuaia.
Anae spent the last three season as the offensive coordinator with BYU, after a stint with Arizona that was preceded with the same position at BYU from 2005-2010.
The first thing that this shows is that Anae is no longer in consideration for the head coaching job, if he ever was. Many fans were concerned with the program if it had fallen onto the shoulders of Coach Anae and now can start worrying about who the new coach will get to run the offense.
It may be just as big of a hit to lose the assistants behind him. Tujague has brought a nastiness back to the trenches that was missing for years. The offensive line has finally began to gel and become a force on the field. Now we can only hope that the next guy up can continue the trend.
Jason Beck was gifted with the talents of Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum but brought out the best from the both of them. Much of the passing improvements in Hills' game should be credited to Beck as should the improvement throughout the year of Mangum.
Mark Atuaia can be credited with the emergence of the young running backs for the Cougars as Francis Bernard and Riley Burt made significant progress on the field while Algernon Brown continued to improve throughout the season.
Not only will the Cougars miss the talent of these coaches, but they are all BYU alumni that are leaving the program. It is tough to imagine that the new coach will be as successful pulling in talented alumni to fill these positions.
One positive from the news means that wide receivers coach Guy Holliday may have the opportunity to stay on the new coaches staff. Harmon reported Holliday met with his position group and told them he'd stay if the new head coach gave him the opportunity.
With this news the search for a new coach just took on a more challenging note as many more positions will need to be filled. This does leave the new coach room to put his own hires onto the staff without anyone calling for some of these coaches to stay.
Stay tuned, as there has yet to be an official announcement about any defensive assistants.