By RUSS RIGGS
Easy come, easy go.
Two days after offensive coordinator Norm Chow headed for greener pastures, BYU named Lance Reynolds as his replacement.
Reynolds, the former running back coach, has been with the Cougar program for 17 years, and head coach Lavell Edwards says the decision to name Reynolds as the heir apparent for the Cougar attack was an easy one.
“I had already made up my mind about Lance a while before we made the announcement,” said Edwards.
Although Reynolds has been with the Cougar program since 1979, he knows that being offensive coordinator at BYU is similar to taking a seat on a wood burning stove.
“Being in the spotlight is not something I want. But it comes with the territory of being offensive coordinator,” Reynolds told 1320 KFAN.
Reynolds started his coaching career at BYU as a graduate assistant in 1979. He was hired by Snow College in 1981 to be the assistant head coach and then moved on to Ricks College in 1982 to help out with the offense.
He returned to BYU in 1983 and has been a big part of the Cougar offensive machine ever since.
“Lance has been an integral part of our coaching staff for the past 17 years,” Edwards said in a press release. “His hard work and dedication to the program over the years has more than prepared him for this opportunity. I feel extremely confident in his abilities and know he will do a great job,”
Although the Cougar offense is known for producing great quarterbacks like McMahon, Young, and Detmer, the running game under Reynolds has produced it’s fair share of stars.
Thousand yard rushers include Ronney Jenkins, Brian Mckenzie, Jamal Willis, and Vai Sikahema. Other dynamic backs coached by Reynolds include Lakei Heimuili and Matt Bellini.
Current fullback Kalani Sitake says although Coach Chow will be missed, he and his teammates are excited about the change.
“The whole offense wanted Coach Reynolds to be the new offensive coordinator,” Sitake said. “He’s more old-fashioned. He wants us to be a tougher offense, and we’ll be a lot more physical.”
Reynolds says he is equally excited about working with the young athletes.
“This is a real honor for me, not just to be the offensive coordinator, but to work alongside one of the greatest and most well respected coaching staffs in the country,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Not only that, but we have a great group of student-athletes here. I think I’m most excited about working with them in this capacity.”
Since Reynolds is fresh from his position as running back coach, some fans may be wondering if running the ball will become the focus of the Cougar offense.
Rest easy, Cougar faithful, there is no need to fear.
“We would like to be more explosive and be more consistent. We need to run the ball more effectively, not run it more,” Reynolds said.
Although the Cougars lost a stalwart veteran of the coaching staff in Norm Chow, Lavell Edwards is confident Reynolds will do the job well.
“Lance is a good football coach. He’s been heavily involved in the offense since he’s been here. He’s a good worker, a very bright guy, and he knows the system,” Edwards said.
See related story:
After 22 years, offensive football coach Norm Chow packs his bags 01/31/2000