When BYU football announced Friday that it had hired Jason Beck to join the coaching staff, the name certainly rung a bell with Cougar fans.
Yes, "Ja. Beck" is back.
From 2004-06, Beck was a backup quarterback for BYU who was probably best known for having the same last name as starter John Beck (who is most recently played for the Houston Texans in the NFL). With the similarities in the names, the players were distinguished on their jerseys by "Jo. Beck" and "Ja. Beck."
Jason Beck was one of two hirings announced by the Cougar football program, with the other being wide receivers coach Guy Holliday, a 22-year coaching veteran most recently at UTEP.
“I’m excited to have Guy and Jason join our coaching staff,” Mendenhall said in the official press release. “Guy is an experienced wide receivers coach who promotes tough and physical football and has great relationships with his players. He excels in the role of mentoring young people.
"Jason is an intelligent, poised coach who understands quarterback play and is a great teacher of young men. He is extremely passionate about our football program and the mission of the university. We are fortunate to have both of them at BYU.”
Many Cougar supporters had expressed the hope that BYU would bring back Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer to coach the quarterbacks. Another well-known name that might have been in the mix was Max Hall, who was part of the offensive staff as a grad assistant in 2012.
Instead, Mendenhall and offensive coordinator Robert Anae chose a lesser name but a bigger coaching resume as Beck comes back to Provo with six years of experience. He has coached at LSU, Weber State and most recently Simon Fraser.
“I’m excited to return to BYU. It is a special place for me and my family,” Beck said in the release. “I greatly respect the vision and standards Coach Mendenhall sets for the program, and I’m looking forward to being part of his staff. BYU has a great legacy at the quarterback position. It is both a great honor and challenge to live up to the legacy that has been established. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Holliday has an even longer list of accomplishments, having worked with receivers for 16 years.
He takes a position that was staffed by former Cougar receiver Ben Cahoon in 2012. It appeared to be filled when BYU announced the addition of Utah receivers coach and Cougar alum Aaron Roderick to the staff in January, but Roderick decided to stay with the Utes.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Holliday said in the release. “BYU has an outstanding history of football excellence and also academic excellence. I look forward to embracing the spiritual elements of BYU and helping young men be successful.”
Beck and Holliday join a Cougar offensive coaching staff already comprised of Anae, running backs coach Mark Atuaia and offensive line coach Garett Tujague.
They won't have long to get to know each other before getting down to business with the players, since spring football starts on March 4.
Here is the complete release from BYU:
"BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced Guy Holliday and Jason Beck have been hired as assistant coaches. Holliday will coach receivers and Beck will coach quarterbacks.
“I’m excited to have Guy and Jason join our coaching staff,” Mendenhall said. “Guy is an experienced wide receivers coach who promotes tough and physical football and has great relationships with his players. He excels in the role of mentoring young people. Jason is an intelligent, poised coach who understands quarterback play and is a great teacher of young men. He is extremely passionate about our football program and the mission of the university. We are fortunate to have both of them at BYU.”
Holliday comes to BYU with 22 years of coaching experience, including 16 seasons coaching receivers. He has helped 21 players advance to the NFL, including 20 at wide receiver. He has also coached tight ends, quarterbacks and running backs and served six seasons as an offensive coordinator during his career.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Holliday said. “BYU has an outstanding history of football excellence and also academic excellence. I look forward to embracing the spiritual elements of BYU and helping young men be successful.”
Holliday spent the last five seasons at UTEP as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. The Miner passing attack was one of the most prolific in school history during that period, averaging just over 3,000 yards each year. As a Miner, Holliday produced some of the program’s top receivers in Jeff Moturi and Kris Adams. Morturi (06-09) finished his career with 170 receptions, 2,527 yards and 26 touchdowns while Adams (07-10) finished with 144 catches, 2,657 yards and 30 touchdowns. Both rank in the top-7 among UTEP’s career leaders for each category.
He spent the 2007 season working with wide receivers at Cornell University after five years in the Southeastern Conference at Mississippi State as the wide receivers coach. With the Bulldogs, Holliday coached All-SEC receiver Justin Jenkins, who recorded 62 catches for 882 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior in 2003. Jenkins went on to play in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills.
Holliday spent three years from 2000-2002 at Western Michigan University, coaching wide receivers two years and tight ends one season. The Broncos had three all-conference receivers and one all-conference tight end under his tutelage. He served six seasons as an offensive coordinator, three at Alabama State and three at Tuskegee University, while also coaching quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. He started his career coaching running backs at Clark-Atlanta University for one season.
Holliday earned a bachelor's degree from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and has three children — Justin, who is currently a wide receiver at UTEP, and daughters Schyuler and Christi.
A former Cougar quarterback and offensive intern on the coaching staff, Beck returns to Provo with six years of coaching experience, including stints at Louisiana State University, Weber State University and Simon Fraser University.
“I’m excited to return to BYU. It is a special place for me and my family,” Beck said. “I greatly respect the vision and standards Coach Mendenhall sets for the program, and I’m looking forward to being part of his staff. BYU has a great legacy at the quarterback position. It is both a great honor and challenge to live up to the legacy that has been established. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
In 2012, Beck was hired as the offensive coordinator at Simon Fraser located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. SFU is the first and only member of the NCAA located outside of the United States. Beck turned an offense that ranked last in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense in 2011 into the league’s No. 1-rated attack in all three categories (440.4 yards, 306.3 passing yards, 34.3 points per game) during the program’s first year as a full NCAA Division II member in 2012. The team nearly doubled its total touchdowns scored, going from 28 to 52, and more than tripled its passing TDs, jumping from nine to 28.
Beck served as quarterbacks coach at Weber State in Ogden, Utah, for three years from 2009-2011 under head coach Ron McBride. Under his tutelage, Wildcat quarterback Cameron Higgins set school records for most career passing yards (12,274), most career touchdowns passes (98), most career total touchdowns (105), most career pass completions (935) and career passing efficiency rating (144.5). Higgins completed his career as one of the most prolific players in Big Sky Conference history, ranking No. 1 in passing touchdowns, No. 2 in total touchdowns and No. 3 in total offense.
Prior to Weber State, Beck served the 2008 season as an offensive intern at LSU working with quarterbacks under offensive coordinator and former BYU head coach Gary Crowton on Les Miles’ staff in the SEC. He also assisted with quarterbacks as an offensive intern on Mendenhall’s staff at BYU in 2007 with Robert Anae as the offensive coordinator.
As a player at BYU, Beck served as the backup to All-American quarterback John Beck from 2004-2006, including a redshirt year due to an injury suffered his junior season. He totaled 553 passing yards and 28 rushing yards, including 305 yards on 20-of-28 passing in his lone start in a 38-0 victory over Utah State his senior season.
Beck transferred to BYU from College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., where he led the COC Cougars to an 11-1 season and Western States Conference Northern Division title as a sophomore. A unanimous first-team All-Western States Conference pick, he led COC to a No. 1 ranking in California and No. 4 national JC ranking, throwing for 2,052 yards while completing 77.5 percent of his passes. He also added 430 rushing yards. Recently hired BYU offensive line coach Garett Tujague was the COC offensive line coach during Beck’s year in Santa Clarita.
A Junior College Academic All-American, Beck spent his freshman season at Ventura College after prepping at Hueneme High School in his hometown of Oxnard, Calif. Before starting college, he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Denver, Colo., from 1999-2001.
Beck earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from BYU in 2006 and 2011. He is married to former BYU soccer standout Jaime Rendich, and they have a daughter, Peyton. Jaime was a four-year starter and All-American midfielder/forward during her BYU career from 2002-05."