PROVO — BYU’s offensive coaching staff will feature several new faces next season.
Coach Kalani Sitake announced Wednesday the hiring of Aaron Roderick as the passing game coordinator and Fesi Sitake and Ryan Pugh as assistants under new offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, who was hired two weeks ago.
While Grimes has never been an offensive coordinator, both Roderick and Fesi Sitake have years of experience as offensive coordinators.
Current assistant Steve Clark, who has previously served as an offensive coordinator at Weber State and Southern Utah, will be retained on the staff after spending the past two years as BYU’s tight ends coach.
Meanwhile, the NCAA allows schools to hire a 10th assistant coach starting Jan. 9 and BYU will hire an additional assistant coach in January. Specific position responsibilities on the staff will be announced once that position is hired, according to the school.
In a statement, Kalani Sitake addressed the three new hires, starting with Roderick.
“I have worked on the same staff with Aaron for 12 years, so I know first-hand how Aaron’s versatility and experience will be a tremendous asset to our staff. He brings valuable play-calling and coordinating experience and his ability to teach the game is impressive. As we all know, Aaron played here (1996-98) as well so I’m happy to welcome Aaron back to BYU.
“Fesi is one of the game’s up-and-coming young coordinators,” Kalani Sitake continued. “He has done a great job with his opportunities to build a strong resume and improved his team wherever he has been. He is an excellent recruiter and excels as a mentor to his players. I’m excited to have him come to BYU and help teach the young men in our program.
“Ryan is an impressive young coach with great leadership qualities and a championship mindset. Jeff coached Ryan as a player at Auburn, where he was an All-American center. Ryan knows well what Jeff strives to accomplish as a coach, having not only played for him, but also coached alongside him already at Auburn, Virginia Tech and LSU.”
Excited to have Aaron Roderick, Fesi Sitake, Ryan Pugh & Steve Clark be part of Jeff Grimes' offensive staff. I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Ty, Ben, Mike & Reno for their dedication to the BYU football program. I wish them the very best.— Kalani F Sitake (@kalanifsitake) December 28, 2017
Roderick, 44, is a former BYU wide receiver and graduate assistant coach. He has 18 years of coaching experience on his resume, including seven as a coordinator. Roderick spent 12 seasons at Utah, where he was the Utes' co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach his last two years on the staff in 2015 and 2016. He was Utah’s passing game coordinator from 2012-2013.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to work at BYU and return to my alma mater,” Roderick said in a statement. “I look forward to working again with Kalani Sitake, someone I have a great deal of respect for as both a person and a coach. I am eager to work with coach Grimes on his staff and contribute to the success of BYU football.”
Fesi Sitake, 31, who is a cousin to Kalani Sitake, has spent five years as a coordinator. He comes to BYU from Weber State, where he was the offensive coordinator the past two seasons.
“I am thrilled to be a part of Cougar Nation. My father graduated from BYU, and I've had many family members come through this amazing institution, so it's a surreal moment for my family and me to embark on this journey at BYU,” Fesi Sitake said. “I am so grateful for President (Kevin) Worthen, Vice President (Matt) Richardson, Tom Holmoe and coach Kalani Sitake for trusting me with this opportunity. I also want to thank Jerry Bovee and coach (Jay) Hill for an incredible experience at Weber State. I've been around some incredible coaches in my career, and I'm excited to bring the knowledge I've gained to this program. I look forward to mentoring the young men I associate with and contributing to what is an already rich tradition at BYU.”
In 2017, Fesi Sitake helped guide Weber State to a Big Sky Conference title, a school-record 11 wins, two victories in the FCS playoffs, a top-10 national ranking and the No. 18 FCS scoring offense at 33.7 points per game.
Pugh, 29, was a graduate assistant from three years under Grimes at Auburn (2012), Virginia Tech (2013) and LSU (2015). The past two years he has been the offensive line coach at the University of Texas San Antonio.
“My wife and I are extremely grateful to coach Sitake for the opportunity to join the Cougar football program,” Pugh said. “BYU is a national brand and iconic program with a storied history of success that I am humbled to now be a part of. I also want to thank Coach (Frank) Wilson and UTSA for a great two years in San Antonio. I cannot wait to be in Provo and get to work with the outstanding coaches and young men at BYU.”
Pugh has been coaching for six years. In 2016, Pugh helped Texas San Antonio record its first winning season since 2013.
Pugh was an All-America offensive lineman as a senior at Auburn and was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy. He was also the starting center for the Tigers’ 2010 national championship team.
In his first year as a graduate assistant at Auburn, Pugh helped coach eventual Rimington Trophy winner Reese Dismukes and 2014 NFL Draft second overall pick Greg Robinson, an offensive tackle.
Clark joined the coaching staff at BYU in 2016 as the tight ends coach. In 2017, he coached freshman All-American Matt Bushman, who led FBS freshmen tight ends with 49 receptions and 520 receiving yards. It marked the most production BYU has enjoyed from that position since consensus All-American Dennis Pitta in 2009.