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Eye on the Y: Gearing up for Big 12, BYU football adds to coaching staff

BYU will have full compliment of strength and conditioning coaches allowed by the NCAA

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake argues a call as they play the Utah Utes in football, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 in Provo.

BYU football took another step in its ramp up for the Big 12 last week, adding five coaches to the staff.

Among the additions, there are two strength and conditioning coaches and three analysts. It is part of athletic director Tom Holmoe’s strategy to increase the football staff size to be comparable to the rest of the Big 12.

BYU will join the Power Five conference in 2023. But immediate staff increases are likely to be completed, or close to complete, well before then.

The early priority in the staff additions was strength and conditioning. BYU has been hit with a rash of injuries over the last two season. Now that department will have five coaches, the full complement allowed by the NCAA.

Another emphasis was getting coaches from geographically diverse regions. The five new staffers have coaching experience in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and Arizona. While head coach Kalani Sitake says that was not specifically the reason they were hired, all five will be heavily involved in the recruiting. As BYU enters the Big 12, it will try to be more competitive in recruiting areas outside of Utah. Mainly Texas, Florida and Ohio.

“Whoever we add, everyone is going to be involved in recruiting,” Sitake told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The likely next steps are to add more analysts and support staff. While the NCAA limits on-field coaches and strength and conditioning staffers, analysts are considered “support staff.” There is currently no cap on the number of support staff a program can have. That is usually where Power Five teams invest to create a competitive advantage. Texas, for example, has upward of 22 people on its support staff.

What else we are watching:

BYU opens spring practice this week. Among the storylines will be replacing Tyler Allgeier, an early backup quarterback battle and a test for the transfer portal.

• BYU men’s basketball is firmly on the bubble heading into the West Coast Conference tournament. In order to get in, it will likely have to beat San Francisco on Saturday.

Anthony Olsen de-committed from Utah in the eleventh hour to commit to BYU. Could he be a steal for the Cougars?

• Tyler Allgeier will be in the NFL Combine this week, starting March 3 and ending March 6.

BYU DB Keenan Ellis retired from football after suffering a severe neck injury last year.