PROVO — Thousands of people want to know what’s going on with Ty Detmer.
So would he.
But for now, BYU’s former offensive coordinator and quarterback coach is very happy and content doing what he loves dearly: hunting with family and friends.
In fact, Detmer left Wednesday night for Iowa where he’ll meet up with former BYU teammate Rocky Biegel to go on a nice, old-fashioned winter hunting trip. He is happy, doing OK, and just hanging out to see what the next step will be in his life.
“I’m just kind of holding tight. I may try and look at a QB coaching job in the NFL if the opportunity comes up. I know more people in that league than college, but I’m just waiting to see who goes where.”
Detmer was referring to the current coaching changes in the NFL that have left a lot of hirings unsettled and staffs yet to be organized.
Some of the recent firings include John Fox (Chicago Bears); Jim Caldwell (Detroit Lions); Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts); Ben McAdoo (New York Giants); and Jack Del Rio (Oakland Raiders). Detmer and his agent, Don Yee, are well acquainted with prospective coaches and coordinators, including Jon Gruden, rumored to be a leading candidate to replace Del Rio.
There is also the possibility BYU’s athletic department will approach Detmer for a position, although that appears to be up in the air. Both Kalani Sitake and athletic director Tom Holmoe fully understand Detmer is a university asset.
It’s unlikely Detmer would take a coaching position on the current staff, although he’s got plenty of support if Sitake did give him a job and title, like Utah’s Kyle Whittingham did with Gary Andersen as associate head coach. His NFL contacts are extensive, and as a recruiting resource Detmer remains invaluable.
Detmer is still very close to the top unsigned high school pocket quarterback in the nation, Tanner McKee, who announced he may commit to a school in the coming weeks but will not sign a letter of intent until serving an LDS Church mission in 2020.
One thing is certain: Detmer absolutely appears not to be politicking for anything other than a quiet perch from a shooting blind with a rifle or shotgun at the present time. It soothes his soul.
People at BYU have said they would love to find a place for Detmer to work. He remains on contract with a nice salary through July.
Detmer said his nephew, Koy Detmer Jr., is enrolled at BYU and remains part of the QB derby that will be staged this spring. “He likes it up here,” said Ty.
Koy has lived with Ty, his wife Kim, and their daughters in Mapleton the past two years.
“Ty Detmer will likely be offered a quarterback coaching job in the NFL and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens this year,” said business partner in QBE Dustin Smith. “He is very respected as a teacher and his knowledge of the game is well known by plenty of NFL people.”
Norm Chow, now retired after coaching at Hawaii, UCLA, USC, North Carolina State and the Tennessee Titans of the NFL, coached Detmer during his Heisman and All-America years at BYU. He believes Detmer isn’t through coaching.
“My nickel is he’s going to continue to coach,” Chow explained during a regular appearance on 1280-AM The Zone.
“I think it’s in his blood. I always told him, ‘You’re not a good coach until you’re fired.’ He said, ‘Well, coach, I guess I’m a good coach now.’”
Since being “relieved of offensive coordinator duties” the Monday following BYU’s win at Hawaii in the season finale, an army of BYU fans, including donors, have expressed interest in Detmer’s status. Many are concerned at the way his demotion was rolled out and handled.
Detmer is aware of questions that have remained in the aftermath, and he sent a tweet expressing his thanks for the support and opportunity to coach players that he will miss.
But for the record, Detmer has not and probably will not delve into his personal feelings for public consumption. I’d be surprised if in future interviews he ever breaks down in detail the reasons BYU struggled so hard on offense this past season nor will he throw out excuses. That is not his style.
Detmer has taken the high road with his NFL career, his associations, his relationships and how he relates to those who have control of his playing time and career both in college and the NFL.
When he replaced Sean Covey seven times during his freshman season at BYU and ended up MVP of the Freedom Bowl, Detmer never complained that he was not treated fairly. That is one of many reasons Chow and former teammates respect him so much. He is all about the present and future, the next play.
To this day and beyond, BYU fans cannot get enough of this seventh-generation Texan.
All his life, hunting remains Detmer’s go-to move. It is in his blood.
He does not own a 2,000-acre hunting ranch in Texas because of the investment, liability or profit. When just a teen, he won the Muy Grande Trophy in Texas for shooting a buck with the most points, a shot taken from more than 600 yards away.
Detmer’s frontier relatives were part of the “Old 300” who were given land grants from the ruling Spanish Commandant of Texas in the 1820s. He is related to Zadock Woods who created Woods Fort near St. Louis and knew Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.
BYU fans worried about Detmer’s feelings? Don’t. He is just fine. He understands a poor offense has consequences. That is football.
I remember talking to Texas high school coaches about Detmer almost 28 years ago when he won the Heisman. One of those was then-Lufkin High coach Pat Culpepper, a former All-American at the University of Texas.
“Ty Detmer is the perfect embodiment of Texas football. He is a fierce competitor, a leader, a player who displays courage and honor. Detmer led the way to revolutionizing Texas football with the passing game he learned from his father Sonny.
“Ty has the heart of a lion and is a true Texan as any defender of the Alamo. When he led BYU to a victory over Miami on national television, we saw a player wipe the blood from his chin and inspire his teammates. We saw a football player using his guts and his heart, picking himself off the turf and returning to battle.
“Ty Detmer handled the ups and downs of his career with dignity and grace. He is a tribute to his parents, his father, himself as a Texas high school coach. He represents us all. Ty Detmer a legend? I would hope so.”
The breaking news about Detmer?
It is this:
Ty Detmer is fine. He hasn’t changed one iota from his days of Pop Warner.