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BYU Made the Right Call in Firing Ty Detmer as OC

BYU Football

On Monday, the BYU Cougars decided to part ways with offensive coordinator Ty Detmer after two seasons. Detmer won the Heisman Trophy in 1990 and holds several passing records for the Cougars. Technically, Detmer hasn’t been fired because the school issued a statement saying that Detmer, as well as all other coaches, would remain under contract, but he would no longer make offensive decisions for the team. Kalani Sitake brought Detmer on as offensive coordinator for the 2016 season when he became the new head coach. Before calling plays for the Cougars, Detmer coached at St. Andrews Episcopal School in Austin Texas. Whether he’ll take another role with BYU is unknown at this time.

The Cougars have struggled offensively this season. A lot of the blame to this year’s 4-9 record is credited to an offense that could only average 17.1 points per game. BYU also averaged nearly 100 yards less per game in total offense since 2015. The numbers for this year regressed from disappointing numbers for the offense last season. Back-to-back seasons of averaging less than 200 passing yards per game and the offense showing no signs of improvement seems to be the main factor in pulling Detmer out as OC.

Teams often gain a lot of popularity when they hire one of their greatest players of all-time as a coach. It doesn’t always work out though. Just like in Detmer’s case. He would have fared much better starting out just coaching the quarterbacks. Starting off as offensive coordinator was a little too much for him to handle. The game has changed so much since the last time Detmer was involved in NCAA football. That’s why I’m always a little reluctant when a great player is brought in to coach in any sport without getting their feet wet first. I always fear that it will hurt their reputation and their accomplishments as a player wouldn’t matter as much.

While two seasons could be considered as not enough time to get results, the Cougars made the right decision. Sitake is a defensive minded coach and needs a good offensive play caller to balance out the team.  Averaging 5.1 yards per play isn’t going to cut it for a team like BYU. It can also be debated that Detmer was the scapegoat for this year’s disappointing season, but this was a sensible decision. I don’t see Detmer taking another position with the Cougars, but I can see another team signing him after the season. But only as a quarterbacks coach. Not as an offensive coordinator. If Detmer does leave, I hope that he finds his way back to Provo in the future.

BYU Football