Arizona football: One coach stands out

Robert Anae, right, has proven to be adaptable: He learned new coach Rich Rodriguez's spread-option offense from scratch.


Robert Anae is headed home.

The Arizona Wildcats' offensive line coach was hired by BYU on Friday to serve as the Cougars' offensive coordinator.

"It was my privilege to be part of the Arizona program the past two years and to have coached the players I worked with in Tucson," Anae, 54, said in a news release.

Anae served as BYU's offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2010 before resigning. Months later, he was hired by former Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Anae was the only coach retained when Rich Rodriguez replaced Stoops in November 2011.

Anae is extremely well thought of in Tucson; players openly campaigned to keep him on staff when Rodriguez arrived. Rodriguez later credited the offensive line for being the UA's biggest strength during an 8-5 campaign in 2012.

The offensive line helped pave the way for one of the nation's most potent offenses. The Wildcats ranked seventh in the country with 526.2 yards per game and averaged 38.2 points per game.

Anae returns to a familiar place. He played at BYU from 1981 to 1984, owns three degrees from the school and served two previous stints there as an assistant.

Anae's oldest son, Famika, played for the Cougars last fall before retiring from football because of knee injuries. His youngest son, Max, is a junior football player at Canyon del Oro High School.

Anae is the second coach to leave the Wildcats this offseason. Tight ends coach Spencer Leftwich left last month for UTEP.

The UA could pursue Indiana offensive line coach Greg Frey to replace Anae. Frey worked with Rodriguez at West Virginia and Michigan and alongside offensive coordinator Calvin Magee at South Florida.