PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Jeff Grimes says everyone he spoke to about coming back to BYU to become the Cougars new offensive coordinator told him to do it.
“The message from everyone that I talked to was that the program is moving in the right direction, Kalani is an awesome dude, a great coach, and there is enough talent there to win,” Grimes said at his introductory press conference Saturday. “All they need is someone to provide a little bit of hope and vision.
Grimes coached BYU’s offensive line from 2004 to 2006 under Gary Crowton and Bronco Mendenhall, back when Curtis Brown became the Cougars all-time leading rusher. But the most important conversation he had was a long talk with head coach Kalani Sitake.
“Well, Kalani knew each other when I was here and he was at that other school,” Grimes said referring to Sitake’s days at Utah. “When we hung up after a lengthy conversation, he looked at how long we’ve been talking and said wow, I think the last time I talked to someone on the phone this long was in the ninth grade.”
“It’s pretty evident that coach Grimes loves his players, enjoys his role as a mentor, and gets the most out of his players on and off the field,” Sitake said.
Even though he has been coaching for 25 years at some some very prestigious schools like LSU and Auburn, Grimes has never called plays. But he says he’s been preparing to his entire career.
“Working for guys like Dirk Koetter, Gus Malzahn and Matt Canada this last year,” Grimes said. “So many guys that I think have some of the best offensive minds in the entire country. My goal is to put together the best combination of all the systems that I’ve been a part of. I believe in being creative and I believe in balance.”
His first task is assembling an offensive staff. Whether that includes former offensive coordinator Ty Detmer remains to be seen.
“I will work together with Coach Sitake to put together the best offensive staff that BYU has ever had,” Grimes said. “I know what that means because there have been a lot of great coaches here.”
Grimes will coach at LSU through the Citrus Bowl New Year’s Day against Notre Dame, but when he does get to BYU, he understands the pressure to resuscitate what was the 123rd best scoring offense in the nation.
“I realize there a lot of people that have a lot at stake here,” he said. “The responsibility to the BYU nation, to the Cougar family, to the administration. I will do everything in my power to live up to the responsibility of the job.”