Who will BYU hire to replace offensive coaches Darrell Funk and Steve Clark?
What is needed, who is available, and what is BYU willing to spend are interesting aspects to making change
So, the way forward for BYU football this past week was to fire offensive line coach Darrell Funk and tight ends coach Steve Clark.
One can understand the passing over of Funk, a veteran serial circuit old-school coach. BYU’s offensive line and run game struggled this past year. While the Cougars provided upper-echelon pass protection according to Pro Football Focus, the run block aspect of the offense never really launched until the final two games of the season.
The dismissal of Clark is another question.
It only makes sense if his position was needed to be open so a new offensive line coach could be given the choice of hiring his own tight ends coach.
It makes sense if Clark’s position is used by offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick to bring in a full-time quarterbacks coach so he can concentrate more on his coordinator and play-calling duties and make training his QBs a speciality. Especially if that guy is a master QB guru, a signal-caller whisperer.
It makes sense if Clark’s replacement is a bones to the wall, all-consuming worker, a gifted recruiter, relationship builder, a guy whose loyalty approaches something of a blood oath giver in a medieval fiefdom.
But Clark was all that, and fresh off signing four-star tight end Jackson Bowers with commits from four-star Ryner Swanson (Laguna Beach) and three-star Jett Nelson (American Fork) along with a big interest from 2026 four-star Pine View High tight end Brock Harris.
So, if BYU gets spendy with its incoming Big 12 money and is capable of hiring a top-level offensive line coach to replace Funk, a guy who is a dynamic leader, teacher, recruiter and talent developer — a mixture of Jeff Grimes and the late Roger French — these are exciting times.
It will be fun to find out who this mover and shaker is, the man to lead BYU’s first line of attack.
If they can find a better fit than Clark has been with the current staff and players, well, chase him down, tackle him, and tie him to that Cougar statue outside the stadium because he’ll be a rare find.
In Sitake’s best universe, he’d recruit and hire former BYU and NFL QB Beck, a true QB whisperer with 3DQB in Southern California. He’s a guy who is tutoring some of the top QBs in the NFL and two or three of the top Heisman Trophy candidates, including favorites Jaden Daniels (LSU) and Michael Penix Jr. (Washington). He has also had a hand in teaching Arizona freshman star Utes-killer Noah Fifita, a distant relative of Sitake,
But Beck isn’t taking any offers. He’s making tons of coin doing what he’s doing and his priorities today are watching his four sons grow up, two of whom will be college quarterbacks someday out of San Clemente, California.
To quote a song from the late Dan Seals, “Not everything that glitters is gold.” BYU could very well chase after former Baylor offensive coordinator Grimes or his understudies Ryan Pugh and Eric Mateos, but it’s a long shot they’d return to Provo.
BYU could look at New Mexico State O-line coach and former Snow College coach Andrew Mitchell, or even SUU tight ends coach and former Cougars offensive lineman Teag Whiting.
But in BYU fashion, sometimes what they do is extremely close to home, enabling a fast and quick turnaround,
If this is the case, Sitake and Roderick could move two offensive analysts up to full-time jobs. Matt Mitchell has been helping Roderick with the QBs and he could be moved over to the offensive line as run-game coordinator, while Roderick takes on QBs full time — or move Mitchell up to take over QBs full time.
Another current BYU analyst, former nine-year NFL veteran tight end Al Pupunu, who played with the Chargers, Chiefs, Giants and Lions and is believed to be the first native Tongan to play in a Super Bowl, could be moved in to take over Clark’s duties with the tight ends.
One could totally understand an inside shuffle out of BYU. It’s kind of a tradition, although it would not strike the magical, headline-grabbing fantasy hires some fans dream about, like those who are still holding out hopes for Hall of Fame-bound Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
There will be an interesting shakeup of the staff in the coming days or weeks as transfer portal and early-signing dates close in for the 5-7 program looking for Big 12 traction.
This past year BYU found itself neck-deep in organized fights with Big 12 teams and came out wanting for more depth, physicality and mental toughness in the trenches,
If BYU doesn’t transition as fast as possible, they’ll be in for more losing streaks as a Power Five team. Even if their roster is filled with guys who’ve gone on missionary service and are Eagle Scouts, when you are in hand-to-hand trench fights with hungry, motivated football-priority combatants on the other side, timidity and niceness aren’t necessarily helpful traits.
Sitake hinted several times during the five-game losing streak he needed more physicality and toughness out of his football team. He had a front-row seat in witnessing some onfield beatdowns of his guys at TCU and West Virginia on the road and against Iowa State in Provo.
He decried the scene of his players being pushed around and not pushing back with the same intensity. Turning the other cheek doesn’t work at the line of scrimmage.
He needs change.
We can’t wait to see what he comes up with for the tip of the spear in his quest.
In closing, Clark deserves to be a part of BYU. If there was ever anybody with a DNA strand with a BYU helix, it is Clark.