When the Kings traded down to ten, three spots ahead of the Jazz, it didn’t look good for Jimmer to remain in Utah for the next few years. Then, when the Jazz went large with Enes Kanter at number three, there was a glimmer of hope, and maybe a chance that the Jazz knew something that the rest of the world didn’t yet.
Going into the draft, Jimmer Fredette heard a lot of negative things about his game. The main criticisms were that he isn’t athletic enough to finish down low in the NBA, and that he can’t play NBA defense. His height was also brought into question, and one very popular scouting service rated him as having athletic ability that is “average at best” and possessing “poor lateral quickness.”
Incoming search terms:
June 20, 2011 by Jim · Comments Off
In 1972, BYU promoted an assistant named LaVell Edwards to head coach. In 1972, almost everyone was running a variation of the wishbone or veer option. And most used the run to set up the pass. An old adage of the day was that three things could happen when you passed and two were bad.
Edwards took over a team that hadn’t even won a conference championship. He noticed that their most successful years were with an attack that featured a lot of passing. He got together with Dewey Warren, who was very good with the Wing T formation, and they created an “drop-back passing offense” that featured passing the ball to set up the run. This was unheard of at the time, and the opposite of what everyone else was doing.
It also got results that were the opposite of what they expected. In their first season of the new system, they produced the nation’s leading rusher in Pete Van Valkenberg. Valkenberg ran for 1,386 yards, which was a lot back then. The Cougars finished 5-6, and that would be Edwards’ last losing season in Provo.
In 1974, Edwards’ third year, the Cougars would win the Western Athletic Conference Championship for the first time in their history. This, of course, was when Arizona State was still in the conference and had dominated it for years. Once the floodgates opened, the Cougars were unstoppable. They tied for the conference title in 1976 and 1977, and then had a streak of 8 consecutive titles, for a total of ten consecutive shared or outright titles between 1976 and 1985.
Starting with Gary Schiede, BYU would quickly get a reputation as “Quarterback University.” In short order, Schiede was followed by quarterbacks such as Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Ty Detmer, and Steve Sarkasian. In 1984, with an injured Robbie Bosco at the helm, the Cougars won the National Championship with a victory over Michigan in the Holiday Bowl, capping a perfect 12-0-0 season.
The Cougars would continue to thrive under Edwards, winning or sharing a total of 18 WAC championships. They would also finish 14-1 for the 1996 season with Sarkasian at QB. And who can ever forget the Jim McMahon-inspired comeback from 20 points down with four minutes to play in the 1980 Holiday Bowl?
By the time Edwards retired, he was 257-101-3. He coached for 28 years and there was never a sense that time had passed him or his offense by. On the contrary, a lot of college and NFL teams started using variations of the pass-first, dropback offense. By this time, though, it was called the West Coast Offense.
Amazingly, when the term “West Coast Offense” is used, the name “LaVell Edwards” never seems to come up. Usually, either Bill Walsh or Don Coryell is given credit for having devised the system. Even though the Cougars broke over 100 NCAA records for offense during his tenure, Edwards’ name is still a mere footnote in most discussions of the West Coast Offense. There are only a few reasons for this.
First of all, when Edwards invented his offense, there was no cable TV. In fact, on September 1, 1984, in Edwards’ 15th year, BYU and Pitt played the first game ever televised by ESPN. Being in the WAC, BYU didn’t get a lot of network television time before then. This really kept them from having as high a profile as they could have had in the nation’s consciousness.
So, while the teams in the bigger conferences and the NFL got on TV more weeks than not, the Cougars toiled in relative anonymity. And even when cable started to telecast games, most BYU games were played at night in the Eastern half of the US, where most national media have their main offices. Also, most of the newspaper coverage is from Eastern media, who would seldom even watch the games, using AP feeds or just giving the scores the next day.
The popularity of the offense in the NFL is the other major factor. Almost every proponent or teacher of the West Coast Offense in the NFL traces his lineage to either Bill Walsh or Don Coryell. Even though Edwards’ use of the offense is probably superior to and definitely more creative than either the Walsh or Coryell versions, Walsh and Coryell are the coaches who are usually given the credit.
Walsh won three Super Bowls with the West Coast Offense, and was officially given “genius” status by the press. He is now seen as the be-all and end-all of the West Coast Offense, and as someone who can do no wrong. While his record is quite impressive, it is still intriguing that Walsh has never gone out of his way to deflect any of the accolades or credit thrown his way.
Walsh seems to revel in his status as the “Godfather of the West Coast Offense.” He deserves some adulation, but it would be nice if he were to share some of the credit once in awhile. When Walsh was at Stanford, there is no way he was operating in a vacuum. He knew what was going on at BYU, as did most members of the coaching profession. It is impossible for Walsh not to have been influenced at least somewhat by LaVell Edwards. Besides, he didn’t really run a pass-first offense in college.
As for Coryell, his version with the Chargers actually came from Sid Gillman in the 1960′s. The only thing it has in common with Edwards and Walsh is a lot of passing.
If you ask Lavell where the passing game came from, he will tell you that he isn’t sure. Dewey Warren, Doug Scovil, Ted Tolner, Mike Holmgren, Norm Chow, etc., each added their influences and twists on the game. When Holmgren went to the Niners from BYU, heintroduced them to utilizing their Tight Ends more in their passing game, So what we now know as the West Coast Offense is not the creation of just one man.
At any rate, Do Coryell and Walsh deserve credit for the West Coast Offense? Probably. But it can be said that LaVell Edwards changed the college game in 1972. It took a few years, but a lot more teams play “pass first” football than when he started. Were Edwards and company intrumental in the development of the game? Absolutely. It would be nice of football to publicly acknowledge his contributions.
Incoming search terms:
- offense LaVell Edwards
- Byu\s west coast offense
- LAVELL EDWARDS DEWEY WARREN
- lavell edwards west coast offense
- would lavell edwards have been a good sec coach
June 6, 2011 by Jim · Comments Off
BYU is not the easiest place to be the head football coach. While its standing as “THE” LDS University helps recruiting within the LDS community, it also hinders bringing in recruits from outside.
As we’ve seen lately, “successful” teams such as USC, OSU, Alabama, and Auburn bend the rules sometimes and just cheat at other times. This does not happen at BYU. While other schools are giving “golden handshakes,” “hostesses” recruited from local “dance” clubs, and unrealistic “prices” on cars, making “charitable donations” of $250,000, the coach at BYU has to do exactly the opposite.
At BYU, there is no cheating. Not only is there no cheating, but recruits are told that they will have to adhere to an honor code that probably appears draconian at best to outsiders. Recruiting competitively at BYU is like playing golf with 1960′s clubs while everyone else has a new set of Callaway’s best equipment.
Somehow, though, the Cougars have been able to recruit enough football players to be successful on an ongoing basis. In the final analysis, though, BYU doesn’t win by getting heralded recruiting classes. It wins by turning 3-star and unranked players into a great football team. And the person currently entrusted with that job is Bronco Mendenhall.
When Mendenhall took over the BYU job in 2005, they had just had three straight losing seasons. Since then, they have been to a bowl every year. While a lot of fans may have been disappointed over last year’s 7-6 record, it was done while playing 19 freshmen. Most teams that play that many freshmen, even if many of them are 4-star recruits, lose more games than they win.
After a a 6-6 record in his first year, the next four records were 11-2, 11-2, 10-3, and 11-2 for a stellar 43-9 mark, and a 29-3 record in Mountain West Conference play. Even counting last year’s 7-6 record, the Cougars have the ninth-best record in the FBS over the last five years.
While Mendenhall has gotten more attention for his offense, good or bad, at BYU, his background is on defense. He was a two-year starter at safety for Oregon State in 1986 and 1987 after two years of starting at cornerback at Snow College. At Snow College, he was named to the second JC All-America team and the JC All-Academic team. At OSU, is versatility was evident at LB and both safety positions, and he was named the team’s captain as a senior. He won their “most inspirational player” award as a senior.
From 1989-2004, all of his coaching duties were on the defensive side of the ball. Now, Mendenhall is the Defensive Coordinator again. The old adage is that “offense fills seats but defense wins championships.” The reality is that both are needed nowadays because a lot of teams are really good. After delegating the offense to Brandon Doman, Mendenhall can fully concentrate on bringing the defense back to the forefront.
Bronco Mendenhall was very accomplished before he came to Provo. In 1993, he coached the DB’s at NAU, and their defense was ranked top in their conference. In 1996, he became the youngest defensive coordinator in Pac Ten history when his alma mater Oregon State promoted him to that position.
Sometime during his tenure at New Mexico, he, along with Rocky Long, developed the 3-3-5 defense and helped develop Brian Urlacher into an NFL player. While at NMU, Urlacher played the old “wolfback” hybrid safety/linebacker position, customized as “Loboback” for the Lobos. That defense led the MWC in rushing defense for three consecutive seasons.
Taking back the defensive coordinator spot can only help the Cougars. Sometimes, one of the biggest problems a head coach faces is trying to find a coordinator on “his” side of the ball who is either as good as he is or can take instructions and be like an extension of the head coach. When you can’t find the right fit, it is often easier and a lot better for the team to simply take the job back and work both positions yourself.
Great offenses are usually made by recruiting or developing a great QB and putting a good supporting cast around him. There are exceptions, but offenses are usually dependent upon the QB to execute what the coach needs. During a year when there isn’t a very good QB, the entire team suffers.
On defense, it’s different. Eleven decent players can be molded into a great defense by the right coach. Defense is more a question of desire and discipline than talent. Of course, a player needs to be fast enough and/or big enough to play his position, but teamwork, dedication, and a clever scheme can make a much bigger impact on defense than they can on offense. And it all starts with stopping the run.
Last year, the Cougars allowed 1,296 yards rushing with 13 scores the first five games. For the last eight games, they allowed 506 yards rushing and one score. This year, hope for more of the latter than the former.
Unless something extraordinary happens during the summer break, they should run the 3-4. The DL is looking good, with no superstars but at least six solid players to man three spots. The LB positions are well-stocked with the starting four, but the depth players will need to develop. The hybrid pass-rushing LB position will be manned by two players whose total weight is only 446 pounds, which should work out very well against some teams, but could hurt against bigger competition.
Only one starter returns among the DB’s, but DB’s are Mendenhall’s specialty. You can rest assured that Nick Howell will get plenty of help from Mendenhall if he needs it.
No matter how the season turns out, you can probably count on two things: the Cougars will win and they will win with honor. That is the best you can expect out of any head coach.
When 1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer left Provo after being picked by the Green Bay Packers in the 1992 draft, he left behind some impressive stats. He completed 958 passes out of 1,530 attempts, for 15,031 yards and 121 touchdowns. He had 14,665 yards of total offense and was responsible for a total of 135 touchdowns. He had a then-unthinkable passer rating of 162.7. All of those were NCAA records at the time. And they didn’t even count his bowl game stats, which would have added 1,175 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Detmer never really got much action in the NFL. In Green Bay, he was the backup QB to Brett Favre, which was a lot like being Lou Gehrig’s backup or Cal Ripkin’s backup in baseball. He was traded after four years, and bounced around for ten more. He would eventually play for a total of six teams in 14 years, getting 25 starts.
He would go on to become a VP in the Athlete Services Division of Triton Financial Corporation from 2007-2009. When it was discovered that the firm was a pyramid scheme, Detmer quit. He cooperated with a subsequent SEC investigation, and was cleared of any wrongdoing. Despite the fact that Detmer was a victim himself and lost more money than a lot of investors, he was sued in civil court by investors trying to recover their money.
The owner and CEO, Kurt Barton, has been indicted on 33 counts including securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, and has been accused of using athletes such as Detmer and Chris Weinke to get victims to trust him. Detmer, though, has never been indicted except in the eyes of misguided Utes fans on various forums and in various comment fields of newspaper articles and blog posts.
Detmer, luckily, didn’t lose all of his money, and lives with his wife and four children on a ranch outside of Austin, Texas, near where he grew up. He has a part-time business in which he allows hunters to hunt on his land. But last year, he found a new venue for an old calling. He is now the head football coach at St Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin.
You may remember that Detmer became an LDS member in his junior year at BYU. While it may seem far-fetched that he is coaching at an Episcopalian school, the demands are the same. It is his job to use football to develop young men, and not vice-versa as it is in so many other schools.
If Detmer’s support of the Brandon Davies suspension is any indication, we can all rest assured that Detmer will be teaching these boys about things like honor and citizenship in addition to football. One of the things that attracted Detmer to BYU before he was a member was the fact that they don’t allow alcohol on the campus. Detmer adhered to the honor code at BYU and it is a pretty safe bet that he expects his players to conduct themselves as young men.
The school he took over has not had much athletic success, and failed to win a game last year. For Detmer, it was like being a freshman all over again. He had to come in, set new precedents, and teach a new system. He had to get to know the players, and they had to get to know him.
Now, he is in his second year, and it is like being a sophomore again. He doesn’t know if it will reflect in the record, because he is at a small school, but he and the players know each other a lot better now, and they are more used to his system. It takes a lot of time to start a tradition anywhere, though. St Andrew’s is no exception.
If he needs encouragement, his dad Sonny coaches about an hour away in San Antonio, and brother Koy is an assistant for his father. They are in a lot bigger division than Ty’s team, and don’t ever have to play each other, so they are free to root for each other and help each other with no mixed emotions.
Detmer is happy at his present job, but it looked like he might get an offer when Bronco Mendenhall reorganized his staff after last year. Detmer says he never got an offer to be on the staff, but that he was consulted for his opinion on various subjects, including a little bit of “bird-dog” assistance in Texas recruiting.
As you may remember, the Cougars are scheduled to play in Austin on September 10 of this year. Detmer’s St Andrew’s Episcopal team will be playing in Austin the Friday night before the game. Detmer has let it be known that he hopes some of the fans coming into Austin for the game show up to support his new team.
It sounds like it would be a great road trip. You could get into town on Thursday night, and go to the high school game on Friday night before catching the BYU/Texas game on Saturday. Austin is a place where there is superb Barbeque and authentic Mexican food. A couple of tasty meals, a Ty Detmer/BYU fans reunion, and the BYU/Texas game would be a weekend to remember.
For those hoping for a Ty Detmer return to BYU, the only thing to say is “never say never.” Detmer is already a head coach at the high school level, and ex-quarterback Brandon Doman is now ahead of him on the Cougars’ coaching food chain. I doubt that Detmer wants to go the assistant route now, unless there is something like “head coach in waiting” attached to his name.
He has gone on record as saying that it would have to be the “right situation” if he were to return to Provo. I am guessing the “right situation” is to come back as head coach someday.
Never say never.
Incoming search terms:
- Koy Detmer Married
- triton financial corporation
- ty detmer scam
Last updated byat .