PROVO — BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Friday that Robert Anae has been hired as the program’s offensive coordinator.
“I am excited to announce Robert Anae as BYU’s offensive coordinator,” Mendenhall said. “During his career Robert has been involved with some of the best offensive schemes in college football, and he has a proven record of coaching elite-level offensive production. He is also a man of great intelligence, personal integrity, complete honesty and total loyalty. Robert is the ideal person to oversee our offense, and I’m thrilled he will be returning to BYU.”
Anae returns to his alma mater where he previously served as offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach on Mendenhall’s staff from 2005-2010 before leaving to become the run game coordinator and offensive line coach at the University of Arizona.
“I’d like to thank Greg Burns, Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona staff and players for an outstanding year in 2012. It was my privilege to be part of the Arizona program the past two years and to have coached the players I worked with in Tucson,” Anae said. “I’d like to thank Tom Holmoe, Bronco Mendenhall and the BYU administration for the opportunity to return to BYU. My family and I look forward to an outstanding experience in a very familiar place.”
Anae spent the last two years at Arizona under Mike Stoops and Rodriguez, serving as offensive line coach both seasons and run game coordinator under Stoops. Arizona’s offense ranked in the top 16 both years and was in the top 25 in passing both seasons as well. Arizona produced the No. 3 passer nationally with Nick Foles averaging 360.8 passing yards per game in 2011 before being drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Anae’s offensive line blocked for the nation’s leading rusher in 2012, with Ka’Deem Carey picking up 1,929 yards and 23 touchdowns on 303 carries.
Arizona ranked No. 7 in total offense this past season at 526.2 yards per game to help the Wildcats to an 8-5 record that included victories over nationally ranked Oklahoma State (59-38) and USC (39-36). The Wildcats scored 38.2 points per game to rank No. 16 nationally, including a 49-point output to defeat Nevada in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl. The point total was just three points off the New Mexico Bowl record of 52 points set by BYU in 2010 with Anae directing the Cougar offense.
During Anae’s first tenure as offensive coordinator at BYU, the Cougar offense was extremely successful, earning top-25 NCAA statistical rankings in 10 different offensive categories a total of 35 times, including 15 top-10 ratings. BYU ranked in the top 25 in third-down efficiency each of Anae’s six seasons, including a No. 1 ranking in 2009 and No. 2 ratings in 2008 and 2006. The Cougars were in the top-6 in passing offense three times (2005, 2006, 2008) in his six seasons overseeing the BYU attack.
Anae has been part of many of BYU’s most successful teams as both a player and a coach. He was an offensive lineman on BYU’s National Championship team in 1984 and part of four bowl teams from 1981-84 while earning second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors. BYU achieved a 43-7 record during Anae’s playing days under Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards. He played in the Hula bowl in 1985 and was drafted by the New Jersey Generals of the USFL.
Anae and his wife, Liane, have two sons, Famika and Max, and a daughter, Penny, who just got married on Dec. 29. His son Famika played on the offensive line at BYU before ending his career during the 2012 season due to injuries. Anae's father, Famika, and brothers Brad and Matt, also played football for BYU.
Anae takes the vacant spot on Mendenhall’s staff created when longtime assistant Lance Reynolds announced after BYU’s Poinsettia Bowl victory that he is stepping away from coaching after a three-decade career at BYU. Anae assumes the offensive coordinator duties held the past two seasons by Brandon Doman. One of Anae’s first duties will be to work with Mendenhall to make coaching evaluations and any related offensive staff position assignments.