Facebook Twitter

Y. may look to Tech for success

SHARE Y. may look to Tech for success

The guy was jacked up.

He had just left a recruit's home late Wednesday afternoon where he boasted to parents and the prospect of his BYU heritage under LaVell Edwards, and how the Red Raiders were repeating the legacy at Texas Tech: "We are shamelessly throwing the football."

Robert Anae was still in sales mode when I caught up with him Wednesday, spouting off stats like Tech's top NCAA passing and scoring offense, its leading the Big 12 in offense for three of the past four years, its breaking of Ty Detmer's 13-year-old NCAA single-season pass yardage mark in 2003 and taking a whopping 807 pass attempts with just 27 quarterback sacks. "That's some ratio," he said.

OK, Robert, I'm converted. You guys ruled.

But, Robert, what about a job offer at BYU?

For more than two weeks in Provo, Anae's name has popped up in connection with an assistant coach vacancy at BYU under head coach Gary Crowton. Anae was a featured speaker three weeks ago for the College Football Coaches Association in Orlando, where he again invoked his BYU heritage and the name of Edwards while introducing his blocking schemes for the Red Raiders.

"I have been contacted by BYU but I have not had a job interview," Anae said.

Would he be interested in a similar job — offensive line coach — at BYU?

"I don't know. I honestly don't know," Anae said. "No question there aren't many players or coaches in the country who are suited for and can fit in the unique situation BYU provides. As a boy from the Islands, this is the place I came and made something out of myself. I played on that 1984 team as a senior. LaVell Edwards got me my start. I received my undergraduate and Ph.D. from there and I'll always have feelings and loyalty to BYU."

Would he like to coach at BYU someday? "Yes sir, no question."

Anae, however, said at this stage of his coaching career, there's a "gradation" to the profession. Proving yourself in the Big 12 is different than doing it at Boise State — which he did — or even in the MWC. "A lateral move for the sake of a lateral move doesn't always make sense. Moving for a title or better compensation or a head coaching position or something that changes your status does work. If you are on the low totem pole even in a big conference school, maybe you look at something harder."

For now, he's keeping all options open. "It's all about need and fit, need and fit."

Anae came to BYU with his brother Brad in the late 1970s after playing at Hawaii's famed Kahuku High School on the North Shore enclave of Oahu where BYU-Hawaii is located. His father, the late Famika Anae, was the coach at Kahuku, and brother Brad is now a businessman on the North Shore.

Anae's coaching experience includes stints at Kahuku High, University of Hawaii, BYU, Ricks College, Boise State, UNLV and Texas Tech for the past three record-breaking seasons at Double T.

Red Raider head coach Mike Leach, who studied football under Edwards at BYU, hired Anae to help develop pass protection for what is college football's most explosive passing game. Quarterback B.J. Symons triggered an offense that averaged 582 yards a game. "We played in a tough league against tough competition. We did it against the best and have been to four consecutive bowl games and proved ourselves," Anae said.

Leach, who was recruiting in Houston on Wednesday, said he knows Anae and BYU have had contact, "but that's all I can say."

Asked the key to his explosive Texas Tech offense, which sometimes has offensive linemen spread apart by as much as three feet, Leach said. "It's the offensive line, it really is. It all starts there. Yeah, we spread the line out but we move them back if we can't handle it. The defensive twists take place far enough away that we can see them coming."

"We just try to plug away, make first downs and move the chains," said Leach, a former BYU rugby player. "The offensive line is the biggest key. They have to protect. With the others, including the quarterback, it's not too different than the old wishbone. You try and get every offensive skill player to touch the ball.

"That way the defense has to respect all of them and defend them that opens stuff up."

At Tech, Anae said, "We're the BYU of old."

In 2004, Crowton would take that. Or his 2001 offense that led the nation in scoring and total offense. If it helped his young line, he ought to sic both assistant head coach Lance Reynolds and Anae on them. If it took a title to get Anae, heck, give him the coordinator, co-coordinator or tri-coordinator title.

End of the job update on BYU's quest to replace Robbie Bosco in Provo.

E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com