Not even a week after former BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes left Provo for the same position at Baylor, it seems another coach is following suit: BYU offensive line coach Eric Mateos will leave the Cougars to join Grimes’ offensive staff in Texas.
“I have known Eric for several years,” BYU coach Dave Aranda said in a statement. “The thing that I admire most about him is the tremendous job he does developing cohesiveness, earning trust and getting buy-in with his groups. His offensive line units love him, and they play incredibly hard for him. He will pour into our student-athletes, get the most out of them and build a formidable offensive line unit. I am excited for Eric and fiancé Gillian to be a part of our family.”
Mateos, who is to be married on Saturday, joined the Cougar staff in 2019, coaching under Grimes for two years in Provo. Prior to BYU, Mateos coached with Grimes at LSU in LSU before spending the 2017-2018 seasons at Texas State.
Originally, Baylor had announced Tuesday they would hire Troy offensive coordinator Ryan Pugh, who, ironically enough, Mateos replaced at BYU. But on Wednesday, Baylor announced it was no longer hiring Pugh.
“Since the recent announcement of Ryan Pugh as Baylor’s OL coach, we have decided to move in a different direction,” Aranda announced Wednesday night. “We are currently in the process of filling the resulting vacancy. We wish Ryan the best in his future endeavors.”
Should BYU lose out on its offensive line coach, the Cougars will have a tall task in ensuring the offense doesn’t lose production next year.
Under the direction of Mateos, the BYU offensive line laid the ground work for an explosive offensive performance — one of the nation’s top offenses. In 2020, the Cougars averaged 5.4 yards per carry with 24 rushing touchdowns and only allowed 12 sacks through 12 games. By comparison, in 2019, BYU averaged 4.4 yards per carry with 25 rushing touchdowns and allowed 29 sacks.
Mateos’ accomplishments also include those of his players. On Friday, left tackle Brady Christensen was named a Consensus All-American and is expected to be a pick in the NFL Draft. Seniors Chandon Herring, Tristen Hoge and Kieffer Longson are also NFL prospects.
With the loss of Grimes and Mateos, the BYU staff is now down to four of its previously six offensive coaches.
“I am very grateful to Baylor University, Coach Aranda, and Mr. Rhoades for this fantastic opportunity to coach the offensive line for such a prestigious program,” Mateos said in a statement. “I am excited to pour my heart into our players and compete for championships with a top-notch coaching staff. I am thrilled to see so many great friends and coaches that mentor the elite high school athletes around the state. Gillian and I look forward to building our first home together in Waco with the amazing people of Texas.”