Our days-long Baylor Nation-al confusion about what exactly happened in our search for a new offensive line coach is officially over! Baylor announced the long-reported (first by SicEm365, for the record) hire of BYU’s Eric Mateos just a few minutes ago, reuniting Mateos with Jeff Grimes, his OC at BYU and our OC now, and Dave Aranda himself, with whom Mateos worked at LSU for a season (2016). Mateos was widely considered the original favorite for the job before we hired Ryan Pugh and then let him go a day later, at which time it appears we went back to Mateos and, purely speculating here, maybe sweetened the original offer. Here’s the announcement from Baylor:
For my money getting Grimes and Mateos together should be considered a coup given that we already know their offensive and blocking schemes work together and that cohesion, the lack of which plagued our offensive staff this past season, shouldn’t be an issue. As I posted earlier in the commitment thread for Grant Miller, it also appears that bringing the two over together is paying dividends in recruiting.
Regarding Mateos as an OL coach, he appears to be well regarded. He helped develop Brady Christensen from a little-known 2* recruit into a consensus All-American at left tackle and, as Baylor’s release notes, the highest-graded tackle in the country by Pro Football Focus this season. Christensen led an offensive line that only allowed 12 sacks in 12 games. For the sake of comparison, we allowed 31 in 9. FootballOutsiders.com ranked BYU’s offensive line 27th in the country this season in line yards, 5th in passing down line yards, 9th in total sack rate, and 5th in passing downs sack rate. If there’s something to be concerned about, it’s that they ranked 112th in power success rate, but I’d have to look deeper into that to know if it’s a small sample size problem or a legitimate failing.
As Travis noted earlier today on Twitter, one thing that is notable about Mateos is that he has worked his way up through the coaching ranks from DII to the ranks of the P5 and back again in a relatively short time. I like coaches that have come from varied backgrounds, and the fact that he’s climbed so quickly and worked for widely respected coaches speaks volumes.
We’ll have to see how good of a recruiter he turns out to be in the Texas area, but that’s for another day. For now, welcome to Baylor, Coach Mateos!
With this hire, our on-field coaching staff appears to be complete once again.