Harvey Unga Will Oversee BYU Running Backs As Search For RB Coach Continues

Mar 2, 2020, 7:42 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2020, 12:56 am
Former BYU player Harvey Unga watches pregame preparations as BYU and LSU prepare to play in the Me...
Former BYU player Harvey Unga watches pregame preparations as BYU and LSU prepare to play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – One of the questions entering BYU spring football practices surrounds the Cougars vacancy at running back coach. AJ Steward left after two seasons at BYU for the same position at Arizona. So who will be the 10th assistant coach on the staff?

For now, former BYU great Harvey Unga will oversee the running backs during spring practices as the search continues to replace Steward.

“In the meantime, Harvey Unga is going to be running the room and he’ll do that in conjunction with Grimey (Jeff Grimes), A-Rod (Aaron Roderick), and the rest of the group,” said Sitake.

When asked a follow-up question if Unga was a candidate for the vacant running back coach spot Sitake replied, “Of course.”

“I think we have a lot of good candidates,” Sitake said when asked about the RB coach vacancy. “I think it’s important that we work with it and do our best to make sure that the spot is filled with the right person and the right fit. A lot of good quality candidates and we’ll keep working with that.”

Resume for Harvey Unga

A former BYU star at running back, Unga became the school’s all-time leading rusher after his final season with the program in 2009. Unga later went on to play in the NFL after being a Supplemental Draft pick to the Chicago Bears in 2010.

Unga has been a graduate assistant and analyst in all four years since Sitake has been the head coach at BYU. The past two seasons, Unga worked directly with Steward in the running back room so he has a strong knowledge of the current personnel that BYU has in the backfield.

Of those good candidates that Sitake referenced, Unga is likely a fan favorite among BYU fans because he was one of the best running backs the school has ever produced on the gridiron.

Last month, Sitake and Unga were seen sitting next to one another at a BYU basketball game on the front row raising questions if Unga was in fact set to be the next running backs coach.

The one knock on Unga’s candidacy is that he hasn’t been a full-time assistant coach in college football yet with his only experience coming as a graduate assistant and analyst on BYU’s staff.

But he’s gaining an opportunity to be the full-time assistant right now and it feels like a great audition for Unga to make his case to be BYU’s running back coach.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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