BYU COUGARS

Baylor Bears Hire BYU Football OC Jeff Grimes To Same Position

Jan 4, 2021, 7:58 AM | Updated: 2:03 pm
BYU Football - Jeff Grimes...
BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes talks to the offense after the Cougars' first football practice at BYU in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. (James Woolridge, Deseret News)
(James Woolridge, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes is a top target for the vacant OC job with the Baylor Bears. According to Yahoo!’s Pete Thamel, Baylor and Grimes are expected to finalize a deal on Monday.

Baylor head coach Dave Aranda has a lot of familiarity with Grimes. The two worked together on the same coaching staff at LSU for two years in 2016 and 2017. While with the Bayou Bengals, Aranda was LSU’s defensive coordinator, while Grimes was the highest-paid offensive line coach in the country.

Jeff Grimes turned BYU’s offense around in three years

Grimes was a Broyles Award finalist (awarded to top assistant in college football) in 2020 for what BYU’s offense accomplished in 2020. The Cougars scored 43.5 points per game, good for third nationally in scoring offense this past season.

Aranda moved on from former North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora after just one season as Baylor’s offensive coordinator. The Bears were 118th in total offense, 100th in scoring offense nationally, and finished with a 2-7 record. Just one year after playing in the Sugar Bowl.

Grimes, who arrived at BYU in 2018 as the Cougars offensive coordinator, inherited a similar situation at BYU. When he took the job at BYU, the Cougars were 123rd in scoring offense. After each of Grimes’ three years leading the offense, BYU made improvements each season.

One area where BYU saw significant growth under Grimes was along the offensive line. Left tackle Brady Christensen became BYU’s first AP First-Team All-American since 2001. He declared early for the NFL last week and is viewed as a Day 2 prospect. The Cougars haven’t had an offensive lineman drafted in the NFL since 2005.

Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson became a Heisman Trophy candidate under the direction of Grimes’ offense. Wilson, like Christensen, declared for the NFL Draft last week. In his announcement that he was headed to the NFL, Wilson wrote to Grimes, “When I met you, I was just a kid with a football and a dream. Your direction and leadership helped me grow and mature into the man and player that I am today.”

What’s intriguing about this potential move is that BYU and Baylor are scheduled to meet during the 2021 season. BYU will travel to Waco on October 16th. The two programs haven’t met since BYU’s National Championship 1984 season.

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., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app

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