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Virginia assistant coaches: Offensive staff taking shape

BYU offensive coordinator, three assistants to follow Mendenhall to Charlottesville

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The faces on Virginia's sidelines and in the gameplan meetings may not be familiar to Virginia fans next year. But they sure will be familiar to the new head coach.

Dick Harmon of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City is reporting that offensive coordinator Robert Anae will be leaving BYU after their bowl game to assume the same position at Virginia.

"I met with my players today and told them of my decision and new position," Anae told the Deseret News. "I have asked three other coaches to join me on my offensive staff and they have accepted. They are Garett Tujague (offensive line), Mark Atuaia (running backs) and Jason Beck (quarterbacks)."

Also of note in Harmon's report is who WON'T be making the trek eastward: BYU's wide receivers coach.

Anae said he would have liked to take receiver coach Guy Holliday with "his team," but there was no place for the popular coach.

Presumably that place isn't available because it will be held by current Virginia receivers coach Marques Hagans, who reportedly has been still out on the recruiting trail for the Hoos.

The question mark becomes what will happen to current RB coach and master recruiter Chris Beatty? Beatty has only been an offensive coach in his career, coaching RBs, WRs, and QBs. With the running back and quarterback positions filled, could Beatty unseat Hagans? Might one of them get moved to coordinating special teams?

But back to what we know. Anae and Mendenhall ran an up-tempo, spread-to-run system at BYU. When QB Taysom Hill was healthy, he was used as a dual threat. After Hill went down, they adapted to pocket-passing Tanner Mangum, who only ended up being named Freshman of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.

Anae was an offensive lineman for BYU during their early 80s heyday, including the 1984 national championship team. He had previously been BYU's offensive coordinator from 2005-2010, and served as the run-game coordinator under Rich Rodriguez in Arizona.

The 2015 Cougars ranked 44th in FBS in total offense, averaging 428 yards per game. Virginia was 73rd, with 383 yards per game. BYU outscored Virginia by almost nine points per game, and turned the ball over nine fewer times than the Cavaliers.

The three assistants coming with Anae are all former BYU players as well. Their experiences range from Tujague's stint as head coach of College of the Canyons, a two-year community college in California; to Beck's time as an offensive assistant on Les Miles' staff at LSU; to Atuaia's pre-football career as an attorney and assistant dean of student life.