BYU Football: Finding Bronco Mendenhall's Replacement; Mission Impossible?

Lou MartinContributor IIINovember 30, 2011

PROVO, UT - OCTOBER 29:  Bronco Mendenhall, head coach of Brigham Young University, call his players over during a game against Air Force October 29, 2005 in Provo, Utah Saturday. BYU beat Air Force, 62-41.  (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

Welcome to Part 2 of a non-existent story—one that has little foundation, but is fun to follow and participate in anyway.

Bronco Mendenhall’s possible (imagined?) departure from BYU would leave a gaping hole in the Cougars’ plans for the future—one that would have to be filled quickly.

It’s no secret that BYU’s head coach must be a member in good standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and must be willing to agree to a subpar salary—in comparison to the mega paychecks gained at other colleges.

So who would fit the bill?

The last time the Cougar head coaching job was open was after the 2004 season and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, who is a BYU alum, was on the short list of candidates. However, word on the street is that Whittingham doesn’t hesitate to use blue-tinged language in the heat of battle.

In light of BYU’s Honor Code, would the Cougar powers-that-be be willing to look the other way if Whittingham experienced a slip of the tongue? Profanity is, after all, in violation of the Honor Code.

Then again, former BYU quarterback Max Hall got away with dropping the F-bomb on national TV and suffered no Honor Code fallout.

Next candidate?

Andy Reid appears to be on the hot seat in Philadelphia. Reid played at BYU and was a graduate assistant in 1981 before moving on to bigger and better gigs, including stints at Northern Arizona University, the Green Bay Packers and the Eagles.

Reid is a convert to the LDS Church, having joined its membership during his two-year playing career in Provo, so he meets that criterion, but he is a product of the mainstream football world. Gary Crowton came to Provo from that part of the football world and we all know how that experiment turned out.

Next candidate?

Assistant head coach and tight ends coach Lance Reynolds has been on BYU’s staff for a long time and probably knows the ins-and-outs of the program better than Mendenhall does. Does that make him a good replacement? The BYU hiring committee apparently didn’t think so the last two times the job was open.

Next candidate?

Brandon Doman is the offensive coordinator for the Cougars this season.

(Pause for dramatic effect.)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on as he coaches against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Imag
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Next candidate?

That’s a good question. Who would be a viable choice for the Cougars if Mendenhall were to hit the road? It’s a tough role to fill given the requirements, expectations and salary.

In an interview with Meridian Magazine in 2002, Gary Crowton reported that part of the hiring process for the BYU head coaching job involved interviewing with two members of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. These men are some of the church’s most revered leaders and, while Crowton did not share what was asked of him, he did say the leaders wanted to hire someone who could win.

Given the nature of the school’s current independent status, winning shouldn’t be all that difficult and is something each of these candidates could accomplish.

Okay, you’re on the BYU hiring committee now. Congratulations, by the way.

Who do you think would make a good replacement for Mendenhall?

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