BYU’s Jernaro Gilford Named Nominee For Top Assistant Coach Award

Nov 14, 2023, 2:05 PM

BYU Football, Jernaro Gilford, Broyles Award...

BYU football cornerback coach Jernaro Gilford named to the 2023 Broyles Award Nominees. (Mitch Harper, KSL Sports)

(Mitch Harper, KSL Sports)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football cornerback coach Jernaro Gilford is a nominee for the top award given to college assistant coaches.

Gilford was one of 57 college football coaches named a nominee for the 2023 Broyles Award Trophy. The Broyles Award honors the top assistant coach in college football.

Gilford is in his eighth year as an assistant on the BYU football staff. Each of those years, he has been the cornerbacks coach. The 2023 season might be one of the best cornerback units he’s had since he returned to his alma mater in 2016.

Jernaro Gilford named Broyles Award nominee

BYU’s cornerbacks in 2023 have produced eight interceptions, led by Jakob Robinson with four. Eddie Heckard has three, and Kamden Garrett has one.

One of Jakob Robinson’s resulted in a pick-six during a victory over Cincinnati in September. Heckard had a touchdown on a fumble recovery in the endzone over Texas Tech. Following that BYU win over Tech last month, Heckard earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the performance.

BYU’s 2023 season has featured an overhauled defensive staff. Gilford was the lone carryover BYU defensive coordinator Jay Hill brought over from the previous regime.

Gilford played cornerback at BYU from 1999-2003. He was a teammate with current BYU head coach Kalani Sitake.

Recent history with BYU football coaches and the Broyles Award

It’s the sixth consecutive year that BYU has produced a nominee for the Broyles Award. Current BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick was a nominee in 2019 and 2021. Passing Game Coordinator Fesi Sitake earned a nomination in 2022.

In 2020, former offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes was a finalist for the Broyles Award before leaving to take the same position at Baylor. Former BYU associate head coach Ed Lamb was a nominee in 2018.

Gilford is one of nine assistant coaches from the Big 12 Conference to be named a Broyles Award nominee in 2023.

The winner of the Broyles Award will be announced on December 5.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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BYU’s Jernaro Gilford Named Nominee For Top Assistant Coach Award