My initial reaction: this may well be better than the current situation, but I'm by no means convinced that it's the best thing for the program to do.
BYU football: Anae may be returning to BYU as offensive coordinator
By Jeff Call, Deseret News
PROVO — As part of a major reshuffling of the offensive coaching staff, it appears BYU is poised to bring back a familiar face.
Robert Anae, who served as the Cougars' offensive coordinator from 2005-2010 before resigning to take a job at Arizona, will return as BYU's new offensive coordinator, sources told the Deseret News.
Anae was scheduled to arrive in Provo Friday morning for a round of interviews. If things go smoothly, an announcement could come as soon as Friday afternoon.
Along with offensive coordinator responsibilities, Anae would also serve as BYU's offensive line coach, sources said.
Brandon Doman, who spent the past two seasons as BYU's offensive coordinator, is expected to retain his role as quarterbacks coach, according to sources.
Anae has been the offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Arizona from 2011-2012.
BYU reached out to Anae and wanted him back in the program, sources said, to jumpstart a Cougar offense that struggled in 2012. Going into the bowl season, BYU ranked No. 56 nationally in total offense, No. 51 in passing offense, and No. 65 in scoring offense.
Changes in the offensive coaching staff have been expected for a while. Last October, athletic director Tom Holmoe expressed his frustration with the offense's performance during a season that saw the Cougar defense rank in the top 5 nationally in several categories.
"I think there will be some changes that take place between this year and next year that will help our team in many ways, in different aspects, from technical details to things that will be noticeable," Holmoe told the Deseret News at that time. "It will be good."
BYU finished with an 8-5 record in 2012, including four losses by a combined 13 points.
After the Cougars defeated San Diego State, 23-6, in the Poinsettia Bowl, Mendenhall announced that longtime assistant Lance Reynolds was retiring after 31 years in the program. Reynolds has been BYU's tight ends coach the past two seasons.
Mark Weber has been the Cougars' offensive line coach, Joe DuPaix has coached the running backs, and Ben Cahoon has overseen the receivers.
During his first tour of duty as an assistant coach at BYU, which began in 2005 when coach Mendenhall was hired as head coach, Anae was the offensive coordinator and the inside receivers coach.
Under Anae, BYU tight ends Johnny Harline and Dennis Pitta earned All-Mountain West Conference accolades six times. Harline was a first-team All-American in 2006 and Pitta was a consensus All-American in 2009.
During Anae's six seasons as offensive coordinator, BYU earned top-25 NCAA offensive statistical rankings 28 times. The Cougars were ranked in the top 25 in third-down efficiency in each of Anae's six seasons, including a No. 1 ranking in 2009. BYU was No. 2 in the country in that category in 2006 and 2008. The Cougars achieved a top-6 passing ranking three times — in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
As an assistant, Anae played a big role in one of BYU's most successful stretches in school history — four consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins from 2006-2009.
As a player, Anae was also part of the Cougar team that won the national championship in 1984. He played on BYU's offensive line from 1981-84 and earned second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 1984.