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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DuPaix, Cahoon are casualties three and four in BYU coaching carousel

Brigham Young Cougars play-by-play analyst Greg Wrubell for KSL Radio has reported that running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Joe DuPaix and wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon have been let go. They join Lance Reynolds and Mark Weber among the ranks of coaches who will not return for 2013.

DuPaix and Cahoon joined the BYU coaching staff following the 2010 season when major changes were made on the offensive side of the ball. Optimism ran wild for fans about both coaches.

The hire of DuPaix was a little sketchy from the start, but the news that he was released is somewhat surprising. DuPaix came from Navy and his dad was a successful high school football coach at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City. Both Navy and Skyline run the option offense. How well he could coach running backs in BYU’s traditionally pass oriented offense was a major question mark.

In 2011, the entire BYU offense struggled. The running backs were no exception. Four games into this season, they didn’t look any better. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL even advocated that DuPaix be let go at that point. However, during the final nine games of the season BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL saw enough quality play from the running backs to go back on that September urging.

True freshman Jamaal Williams exploded. He set a new BYU record for most rushing yards by a true freshman. DuPaix recruited Williams and should be credited with his development into a bonafide D-I running back. BYU also saw Rugby convert Paul Lasike do some impressive things this season, his first as a football player on any level. Lasike should have a key role in the BYU running game in 2013 and 2014. Again, DuPaix deserves credit for Lasike.

It appears that the dismissal of DuPaix was done to usher in Mark Atuaia as running backs coach. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL doesn’t see any problem with Atuaia joining the staff as running backs coach, if that is what new offensive coordinator Robert Anae feels is best for his offense. How come DuPaix couldn’t be moved to fill Reynolds spot as tight end coach? He wasn’t just the running backs coach, but also the recruiting coordinator. By almost all accounts, he was doing a fantastic job in that capacity.

Cahoon was well remembered from his playing days at BYU in 1996-97. He led BYU in receiving yards as a senior highlighted by over 200 receiving yards in an upset of nationally ranked Arizona State. He went on to star in the Canadian Football League and finished his career as the league’s all-time leader in receptions.

While BYU has seen incredible production from wide receiver Cody Hoffman the last two seasons under Cahoon’s watch, the rest of the receiving corps has not been satisfactory. McKay Jacobson flopped his senior season in 2011. Ross Apo has failed to live up to his potential. Ball distribution is at an all-time low. The biggest problem for BYU receivers lately has been getting separation in bump-and-run, man-to-man coverage. Improvement in this area has been hard to see over the last two years. Quarterback play has been sub-par and partially explains some of these problems, but Cahoon should not be absolved of all blame.

Nevertheless, Cahoon has been a Teflon coach. Few have called into question the results, or lack thereof, his receivers have produced the last two seasons. Whether or not Cahoon deserved to be let go is something I am undecided on, but I didn’t think he was “untouchable.” Maybe he was too much of a novice, or maybe the quarterback situation muddied the water too much to accurately judge his coaching ability.

BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL expresses appreciation to DuPaix and Cahoon and their families for all they gave to BYU football the last two seasons. May they find success in their future endeavors.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. What serious joker wrote this rag? For your information, McKay Jaacobson got "missioned", married, fat and lazy. Now how is this Cahoon's fault? And saying that the QB play has been sub-par is like saying that Lindsay Lohan had a brief encounter with the legal system. What a Joke!

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    1. Jacobson's numbers post mission in 2009 were better than pre mission, even with him missing several games w/a pulled hammy. Why Cougar Nation always overlooks this baffles me. Nice comment illustrating my point that Cahoon has been like teflon.

      --Blue Cougar

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