Robert Anae is Coming Home

The first call new BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall made to build his new coaching staff was to Texas Tech offensive line coach. Anae, a member of the Cougar's 1984 national championship team, comes to BYU from a high-powered Big XII offense at Texas Tech. TBS visited with Coach Anae soon after he was announced as the new offensive coordinator for the Cougars.

Having played under legendary coach Lavell Edwards, Robert Anae was part of a coaching staff that helped create an offensive powerhouse at Texas Tech. An offense that produced nearly 4,300 passing yards this past season and led the nation to a passing offense averaging over 388 yards per game.

"Well see you're talking to an Alum," Anae chuckled. "I'm very excited about the opportunity to come back to my alma mater and be a part of the new coaching staff with coach Mendenhall, to be with a very high tempo team. Not just on the offensive, but now we've got a whole team with that commitment in mind and I'm very excited about that."

As BYU's new offensive coordinator, Anae brings in a scheme from that has held up in one of the nation's toughest conferences. "Have you seen much of Texas Tech?" Anae questioned. "That's not an easy conference to play offensive football. You know the defenses in that conference are tremendously talented."

As a former member of BYU's national championship team, Anae is knows what BYU has done offensively in the past. Anae returns to Provo with intentions of reestablishing BYU's highflying offensive identity.

"Well a lot of what we did at Tech, those are the things that identified Lavell Edwards in his success here at BYU," explained the former Texas Tech offensive line coach. "We're going to throw the football and it's going to be an exciting wide open brand, and a lot of those same concepts that guys like Doug Scovil and Norm Chow made that gave this place an identity. That's what we're going to do."

Texas Tech finished the year ranked sixth nationally in total offense with 482.09 yards per game. The RedRaiders were also 11th nationally in points scored with an output of 35.36 points per game. Anae looks to bring that national prowess to BYU and as he will install something similar to the old fashion Cougar style of offense.

"Yes, the overall offense will be a pass oriented offense, but we say that the guy that touches the ball the most is the running back," said Anae. "We, in fact, had Ricky Williams down there a couple years ago at Tech and he had 98 pass receptions, so the running backs better get ready to touch the ball, but we do believe that it will be something that will be distributed throughout the five skill players."

Anae has full autonomy to build a coaching staff that will fit his high octane offensive philosophy. He will soon be meeting with current coaches to determine if they meet his needs or if he needs to look outside the program for assistance.

"Well, we're taking a strong look at a couple of staff members but it's premature to speculate though," Anae declared. "We are in the process of working with Jeff Grimes and it would be an honor for us if he would elect to stay. I think every coach that has an opportunity, no matter what position they coach, to get in an offense that can do some of the things like we've done at Texas Tech, move the ball, score the points and be consistent doing it, I think any coach would be honored to be in a system like that whether it be a line coach or not. I'm looking forward to it. If Jeff Grimes is a part of that, boy that's only going to make us better."

For Anae, the offensive philosophy will be simple: maximum output all of the time. Anything less that leads to less than that will be done away with. "Well first of all, the philosophy of the offense is very high paced," said Anae. "It's a high tempo offense, and it's going to work hand in hand with the defensive philosophy of coach Mendenhall and I think that's why he was interested in making my hire. When he called it moved pretty fast and surprisingly. The idea is that the offense and the defense will complement each other philosophically. In other words, play fast and play hard.

"I'm very excited to visit with coach Grimes and Lance Reynolds. We were talking a little last night about the offensive schemes and it's like coming back home with the offensive plan because he was involved when we were throwing that thing around pretty good. Now were going back to doing what gave Lavell Edwards his identity."

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