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BYU football coaching staff: Cougar alum Jernaro Gilford hired as cornerbacks coach, Mahe & Ofanhengaue hires made official

One of the best defensive backs to strap on the pads at BYU is returning to coach the Cougar secondary.

BYU Athletics

BYU put the finishing touches on their football staff Thursday afternoon.

Along with making the hires for Reno Mahe and Tevita Ofanhengaue official, BYU announced that former defensive back Jernaro Gilford was hired as the cornerbacks coach.

BYU hasn't had many true elite talents to play the cornerback position. Omarr Morgan and Tim McTyer make the shortlist -- as does Jernaro Gilford, who the Cougars have hired to coach defensive backs.

Gilford played at BYU from 1999 to 2003, his most notable his 2001 sophomore campaign when he earned first-team All-MWC honors and famously snagged a late interception to seal a 24-21 win over Utah to keep the Cougars undefeated.

RELATED: BYU football coaching staff tracker

Gilford coached defensive backs at Southern Utah in 2013 and 2014 under coach Ed Lamb, who is now BYU's assistant head coach. Prior to Southern Utah, Gilford was a graduate assistant at Whittier College in California.

He also recently earned a Masters of Education degree.

As a player, Gilford grabbed a total of 10 interceptions (six in 2001) and 114 tackles. He fought a knee injury as a junior in 2002 before returning to start all 12 games in 2003.

Gilford, a California native, joins Ilaisa Tuiaki's defense after two years as an FCS secondary coach.

BYU also clarified that Tevita Ofanhengaue would be hired as the director of recruiting operations, which was contrary the the previous report that he would be the director of player personnel.