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Former BYU Football Players Express Frustration With Coaching Changes

Nov 28, 2023, 5:40 PM

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PROVO, Utah – BYU football experienced a shakeup to the coaching staff this week. Offensive assistants Darrell Funk and Steve Clark are no longer with the program.

Funk, who coached BYU’s offensive line, was an expected departure as his unit struggled throughout the season. As for Clark, the tight end unit struggled like everything with BYU’s offense in 2023. But the move left many on social media and message boards surprised.

BYU football players

Two former BYU tight ends who played for Clark voiced their frustration with the dismissal of Clark via X (formerly known as Twitter).

Former BYU football players upset with TE coach Steve Clark being dismissed

Caution: Language Warning

Former BYU fullback and tight end Masen Wake, who retired from football earlier this year due to injuries, wrote, “Trust me, Coach Clark was not the problem… Such Bull S—.”

Moroni Laulu-Pututau, who played for Clark for four seasons. Laulu-Pututau originally signed with Bronco Mendenhall’s BYU program in the class of 2013. He also shared his thoughts.

“We just tryna find a scapegoat??… what’s goin on… There’s a reason coach Clark is the ONLY coach to make it through multiple OC’s and coaching changes,” wrote Laulu-Pututau. “He revitalized the TE position for byu that had been DEAD FOR YEARS! He’s exactly the guy you want representing you if you’re a serious football program period. Am I valid or just biased???”

Laulu-Pututau is right. When Steve Clark arrived at BYU as part of Kalani Sitake’s first staff in 2016, he was starting from the ground up. The years before his arrival, BYU incorporated a “Go Fast, Go Hard” scheme that sacrificed the tight end position.

In the 2015 season, fans were giddy at the idea of defensive ends switching over to tight end to restore the position.

Fast forward to 2023, however, Isaac Rex was the leading receiver with 34 receptions for 422 yards. But after Rex, there wasn’t much in the receiving department from the tight end unit.

The tight end with the second-most receiving yards after Rex was defensive end Tyler Batty. Batty finished with 36 yards, all of it coming on the fake punt last week at Oklahoma State.

BYU continues its search for replacements at the offensive line and tight end coach positions.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Former BYU Football Players Express Frustration With Coaching Changes