The BYU football team has now officially lost two of its offensive line gurus — and both are heading to the same place.

Baylor announced Friday afternoon that it had hired Cougar offensive line coach Eric Mateos to fill the same role for the Bears. Mateos will be joining offensive coordinator (and long-time offensive line expert) Jeff Grimes, who took the same job at Baylor on Monday.

“I have known Eric for several years,” Baylor head coach Dave Aranda said in a press release. “The thing that I admire most about him is the tremendous job he does developing cohesiveness, earning trust and getting buy-in with his groups. His offensive line units love him, and they play incredibly hard for him. He will pour into our student-athletes, get the most out of them and build a formidable offensive line unit. I am excited for Eric and fiancé Gillian to be a part of our family.”

Mateos spent two years in Provo, replacing Ryan Pugh when Pugh went to be the offensive coordinator at Troy. It was initially reported that Pugh would be the offensive line coach at Baylor, only to have the school choose to go in a different direction.

“I am very grateful to Baylor University, Coach Aranda, and Mr. Rhoades for this fantastic opportunity to coach the offensive line for such a prestigious program,” Mateos said in the Baylor press release. “I am excited to pour my heart into our players and compete for championships with a top-notch coaching staff. I am thrilled to see so many great friends and coaches that mentor the elite high school athletes around the state. Gillian and I look forward to building our first home together in Waco with the amazing people of Texas.”

While Mateos leaves a legacy of tremendous growth on the BYU offensive line unit, his most lasting impact might be the way he instilled the concept of “don’t drink the poison” (i.e. don’t get carried away by public praise) into the Cougar psyche.

“BYU, Thank you for embracing me,” Mateos tweeted from his @CoachMateos Twitter account. “Thank you for your unwavering support which I sometimes didn’t deserve. Thank you to the amazing people that had my back in a new place. Thank you Kalani & my great colleagues. Most importantly, thank you to the boys. Love you & never lose your GRIT.”

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and new offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick now have the task of finding a replacement for Mateos on the Cougar offensive coaching staff.

Here is the complete release from Baylor:

“Eric Mateos has been named Offensive Line coach at Baylor, head coach Dave Aranda announced Friday.

“’I have known Eric for several years,’ Aranda said. ‘The thing that I admire most about him is the tremendous job he does developing cohesiveness, earning trust and getting buy-in with his groups. His offensive line units love him, and they play incredibly hard for him. He will pour into our student-athletes, get the most out of them and build a formidable offensive line unit. I am excited for Eric and fiancé Gillian to be a part of our family.’

“A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Mateos joins Baylor following two successful seasons at BYU from 2019-20. While in Provo, he molded a BYU offensive line that anchored one of the top offenses in the country in 2020. BYU finished its season ranked in the top 15 in 10 different statistical categories including scoring (3rd, 43.5 ppg), total offense (7th, 522.2 ypg) and passing offense (8th, 332.1 ppg).

“Led by Consensus All-American tackle Brady Christensen, the BYU offensive line allowed only 12 sacks in 12 games, the eighth-best per game average in the country, and helped the Cougars to the fourth-most rushing touchdowns nationally with 34.

“Christensen received 10 All-America honors overall. He finished the 2020 season as the highest-graded offensive tackle in the country by Pro Football Focus with a 96.0 rating, earning grades above 95.0 as both a pass-blocker and run-blocker. He allowed just three pressures across 372 regular-season pass-blocking snaps.

“BYU posted an 11-1 record in 2020, including an impressive 49-23 victory over UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl. The Cougars reached as high as No. 8 in the AP poll during the season. BYU tied for the national lead in yards per play at 7.84, and led all of FBS in plays of 30 or more yards with 45. Overall, the program scored 40 or more points nine times in 12 games.

“’I am very grateful to Baylor University, Coach Aranda, and Mr. Rhoades for this fantastic opportunity to coach the offensive line for such a prestigious program,’ Mateos said. ‘I am excited to pour my heart into our players and compete for championships with a top-notch coaching staff. I am thrilled to see so many great friends and coaches that mentor the elite high school athletes around the state. Gillian and I look forward to building our first home together in Waco with the amazing people of Texas.’

“In 2019, the Cougars finished 7-6 with a Hawaii Bowl berth. Under Mateo’s guidance, Christensen and center James Empey earned All-Independent honors from Phil Steele. During the team’s final five regular-season games BYU boasted the nation’s No. 8 offense (520.6 yards per game), No. 13 passing offense (323.0 yards per game) and No. 34 rushing offense (197.6 yards per game).

“BYU’s capped the season with 505 yards of total offense in the Hawai’i Bowl, including 274 through the air and 231 on the ground.

“Mateos’ 2019 offensive line finished the season ranked No. 12 overall as a unit by Pro Football Focus.

“Mateos spent two seasons from 2017-18 as the offensive line coach at Texas State where he had an All-Sun Belt performer each of his two years. Prior to his stint with the Bobcats, Mateos served as the tight ends coach at LSU in 2016 after starting the season as an offensive line graduate assistant under Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes.

“Midway through the 2016 season, Mateos was named tight ends coach by Ed Orgeron and helped lead the Tigers to a victory over Louisville in the Citrus Bowl. Before joining Grimes at LSU, Mateos worked under Sam Pittman at Arkansas from 2013-15.

“He began his coaching career as an assistant offensive line coach at Southwest Baptist in 2011 before serving a one-year stint in 2012 as the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Hutchinson Community College.

“A two-year starter at Southwest Baptist, Mateos was the starting center and team captain in 2009 and 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations at Southwest Baptist in 2011 and a master’s degree from Arkansas in 2015. Mateos is engaged to Gillian Chavez.”

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!