PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Harvey Unga is getting a big promotion.
BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake today announced that Unga, a Provo native and former standout Cougar running back, was promoted to running backs coach after spending the past four seasons as a graduate assistant coach on BYU’s offensive staff.
“I mean it’s been a dream of mine to be here, to coach at this university,” Unga said. “And then to coach a position that I love and am passionate about. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
“Harvey is a great young coach who was an elite player for BYU and is an extremely humble person,” Sitake said. “He knows the game, relates well to the players, and has done an outstanding job the past four years on our staff. We are excited to have him step into this role, and know he will excel in helping the young men in our program learn, grow and develop.”
Unga has worked with running backs, wide receivers and the offensive line in his four years as a graduate assistant.
The only BYU player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, Unga finished his collegiate career as the Cougars’ all-time leading rusher in 2009 with 3,455 rushing yards. Unga’s rushing record stood until 2016 when Jamaal Williams surpassed him in Unga’s first year as a graduate assistant on the coaching staff.
Unga also helped in the development of All-American offensive lineman Tejan Koroma while working with BYU’s offensive line.
As a player, Unga earned Freshman All-America honors in 2007 after redshirting in 2006. He rushed for 1,227 yards to set the Mountain West Conference freshman record en route to winning MWC Freshman of the Year honors. With 655 receiving yards, his 1,840 all-purpose yards shattered the previous MWC record of 1,328 set in 2002.In 2008, Unga ran for 1,132 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding four receiving scores and 309 yards. He earned Sophomore All-America Team honorable mention by College Football News. In his final season in 2009, Unga topped the 1,000-yard mark for the third time with 1,087 yards and another 11 touchdowns, earning his third consecutive MWC all-conference selection.
Unga concluded his college career with 3,455 rushing yards, 36 rushing touchdowns, 1,085 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns. He is still No. 2 in career rushing yards at BYU, No. 2 in rushing attempts (696), No. 2 in total touchdowns (45), No. 5 in scoring (272) and No. 4 in all-purpose yards (4,540).
In these trying times across the world, Unga was glad to receive some good news.
“Just a breathe of fresh air among all the stuff that’s going on the world right now,” Unga said. “It’s nice to know that something good as happened. On top of that, it’s my mom’s birthday today, so on top of that, it’s another added bonus. So, I’ve got to give her a call after this.”