I’m thrilled to death he’s doing this. He said this is a time in his life he had to jump in if he ever did. The time was right. – Sonny Detmer

It is a given Ty Detmer’s success as a college offensive coordinator will depend on many things, not the least being BYU’s 2016 schedule, injuries, talent and sheer luck, according to his father, legendary Texas high school coach Sonny Detmer.

But the father has no doubt. He believes Ty, who has been around football and coaching all his life, will step in and make it work and love doing it. “If it’s coaching, it’s coaching,” said Sonny.

What advice would Sonny give Ty as BYU’s offensive coordinator?

“Put it in the aaaaaair,” Sonny said, laughing, as if I’d just asked him if longhorns had horns.

“Ty’s wanted to do this for a long time, either at the college or NFL level,” said Sonny. “He really likes the setup, and the head guy (Kalani Sitake) has really treated him well and he likes him a lot. He also likes the players at BYU, they’re the kind of kids who have great attitude.”

Sonny Detmer, now in his 70s, has spent his life around young people and he’s a master at breaking down football. He’s closing in on 45 years as a coach in Texas. Ty gets his personality from his father, who is a quick-witted joker with lightning-quick comebacks and one-liners. He’s a guy who loves to poke fun and turn situations around.

Sonny, an All-American college receiver at Wharton, accepted a basketball scholarship at Florida State. He loves to hunt, fish and take care of animals and he loves the outdoors. He is a kind, tenderhearted man who isn’t embarrassed to show emotion when expressing gratitude over his kids and their lives.

Ty and Sonny sound alike, take the same approach, have the same laugh and use the same expressions laced with a colloquial Texas drawl. Sonny, Ty and Koy, who is six years younger than Ty, have an innate sense of the game of football. Their instincts are uncanny. They thrive on every aspect of the game and are legendary fierce competitors in everything from golf to tether ball.

“I think Ty will do just fine, I really do,” Sonny says. “I’m thrilled to death he’s doing this. He said this is a time in his life he had to jump in if he ever did. The time was right.”

Sonny knows what works on a football field. He’s coached some pretty good football minds. In the late ’70s, at Somerset High near San Antonio, Sonny’s first star quarterback was Jim Bob Taylor, who went on to play for SMU and Georgia Tech before going to the Baltimore Colts.

“He was a great leader, an inspirational type guy. Ty watched him and learned from him,” said Sonny. His second son, Koy, watched Ty and learned and at Mission High, home of Tom Landry, Koy became what Texas Monthly called “the most prolific quarterback in Texas high school history,” after passing for a single season 4,829 yards at Mission High (1990).

Ty, Texas Player of the Year as a junior, set numerous city and state passing records at Southwest High in San Antonio for the Dragons and won the Heisman Trophy in 1990 at BYU. Koy started at the University of Colorado. Both had NFL careers.

How many fathers can say that? Well, the Archie Manning clan comes to mind, but few others. Combined, Ty and Koy spent 23 years in the NFL.

Sonny’s grandson, Stevie Joe Dorman, set the San Antonio area career passing mark of 9,253 yards at Somerset with Sonny as coach and later signed to play at Colorado. Koy’s son, Koy Junior, is now at BYU. Another grandson of Sonny and Betty Detmer, Somerset’s Zadok Dinkelman, committed to LSU as a 14-year old eighth-grader two years ago.

And yes, Ty Detmer is visiting his nephew Zadok on Monday. “I guess he’s going to come check him out, as if he doesn’t know anything about him,” said Sonny. The thought sets Sonny to laughing.

If you rank career yardage QBs in the San Antonio area, all but one is Sonny’s blood, and his name is Johnny Manziel from Tivy High.

You’ve got No. 1 Dorman (9,253 yards), Ty (8,005), Manziel (7,500) and Koy Detmer Jr. (6,877).

The common thread? Sonny.

And don’t think Ty won’t tap Sonny for help. If you go to Coaches Choice.com, you’ll find six DVDs that highlight Sonny Detmer’s style of football. The topics are “Understanding the Basics of Drop Back Passing,” “No Huddle Offense,” “Goal Line Offense,” “Sprint Out Passing,” “Multiple Formations and Quick Passes,” and “60 Tag Routes with Motion.”

Pick one. And learn.

Sonny knows Ty is stepping into a tough schedule out of the chute.

“Coaching is a big part of it. You can improve a team that lacks talent to where you play hard, but that depends on what kind of attitude your players have. But college is all about recruiting. BYU has great attitude and players who’ve been there have always had great attitude.

“The hardest thing is being independent. When BYU was in a conference, people got used to losing to them. Now, as an independent they get teams who are into a conference schedule and it’s hard to get them, so you play them on their terms at their place. You look down the line and they’re playing some of the toughest teams they’ve ever played like LSU, USC and Michigan State, who is now a national program.”

Sonny said Ty likes what he sees in BYU players. “Koy Junior is there and he says the players like all the new coaches. So much hinges on having good attitudes.”

His son is already combing East Texas, making recruiting stops, taking advantage of contacts, peeking in at prospects around San Antonio, his old stomping grounds. His brother Koy just moved to Mission, Texas, where he was hired as the head football coach, the same job Sonny had when he coached Koy to glory. Dorman took Koy’s place on Sonny’s Somerset staff in San Antonio.

Koy is now one more Ty Detmer recruiting connection spread across the state in Mission.

“Receivers are getting taller and taller, so we need to get cornerbacks who are in the 6-foot-2 range,” Ty told Sonny.

“Tell me something new,” Sonny laughed.

EMAIL: dharmon@deseretnews.com.

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