New BYU football coach Kalani Sitake named Hall of Famer and Heisman winner Ty Detmer offensive coordinator and elevated Oregon State assistant Ilaisa Tuiaki as his defensive coordinator on Thursday.
Both are first-time coordinators on the Division I level.
“It’s an honor to announce Ty Detmer and Ilaisa Tuiaki as the offensive and defensive coordinators on our coaching staff at BYU,” Sitake said. “Each has an exceptional football mind and a real passion to help our young men succeed on and off the football field. I am looking forward to working with them as we complete our staff and prepare our team for the 2016 season.”
While Tuiaki’s hire became public this past weekend after news broke of Sitake’s departure as Oregon State’s defensive coordinator to replace Bronco Mendenhall, the news of Detmer, rumored to be joining the staff for a week, was confirmed mid-week.
Detmer told the Austin American-Statesman he would keep his 1,200-acre hunting ranch outside Austin.
While Tuiaki has been certified to recruit because of his employment in Corvallis, Oregon, Detmer will need to pass an NCAA rules examination before he can recruit — one of his first tasks after being hired this week.
Detmer’s name recognition, plus his contacts with numerous NFL teams and Tuiaki’s Pac-12 experience and ties to both Utah and regional Polynesian communities is expected to make an immediate impact on Sitake’s prime priority — recruiting.
Detmer’s BYU career spanned from 1987 to 1991 and his 15,031 passing yards is currently fifth in NCAA history but was No. 1 at the time, as was his 121 career touchdown passes. In addition to wining the Heisman Trophy, Detmer is a two-time Davey O’Brien Award winner and consensus All-American in 1990 and 1991.
“My family and I are extremely excited to be part of the football program at BYU again,” Detmer said. “I feel it is the right time to make a move and jump in head first. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Following his BYU playing days Detmer was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and went on to enjoy a 14-year NFL career with five different teams. Detmer totaled 6,351 yards and 35 touchdowns in 54 games while also helping mentor many quarterback teammates over the course of NFL career. Detmer enters the college coaching ranks after having served the past six seasons as the head coach at St. Andrew's Episcopal, a private high school in southwest Austin, Texas.
A 1991 graduate of BYU in recreation administration, Detmer is married to the former Kim Herbert and they have four daughters, Kaili, Aubri, Mayci, and Rylli.
Tuiaki was a local football player and Provo native, having graduated from Timpview High School. He spent one year at Oregon State coaching linebackers and special teams this past season. His eight-year college coaching career at OSU, Utah State and Utah includes working with linebackers, defensive linemen, tight ends and running backs and was a top five finalist finalist for the Football Scoop Defensive Line Coach of he Year in 2014 and Broyles Award nominee as the nation’s top assistant in 2013.
“I am excited to be back home,” said Tuiaki. “I’ve always been a fan and tied to the BYU program growing up just down the street from the stadium."
Tuiaki coached four Pac-12 postseason honorees at Utah, including first teamers Nate Orchard in 2014 and Trevor Reilly in 2013. Orchard was also named the Morris Trophy recipient as the Pac-12’s top lineman and the nation’s top defensive end by winning the Ted Hendricks Award.
Under Tuiaki’s watch, Utah led the nation in overall sacks in 2014 with 55 and ranked second in sacks per game in 2013 at 3.25. At Utah State, Tuiaki served as the running backs coach and special teams and recruiting coordinator from 2009-11. He helped the Aggies finished sixth nationally in rushing (282.7 yards per game) and running back Robert Turbin was named the 2011 WAC Offensive Player of the Year, rushing for 1,517 yards and a school-record 19 touchdowns. Two Utah State running backs were drafted during Tuiaki’s time as the position coach, including Turbin and Michael Smith.
A 2006 graduate of Southern Utah University, Tuiaki was a two-year letterman at running back and a team captain at SUU after transferring from Snow College. He served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New York, New York South Mission from 1998-2000. Tuiaki and his wife Viola have six children: sons Laveatu’u, Lolo and Hilamani, and daughters Uini, Leisinia and Heilala.