Cougars Name Empey Assistant Football Coach

PROVO -- BYU head football coach LaVell Edwards today announced former BYU lineman and Snow College head coach, Mike Empey, has been selected as the most recent addition to the BYU coaching staff. Empey, who will begin coaching duties on Feb. 21, 2000, will work primarily with the offensive tackles and tight ends.

"We're very pleased to have Mike join our program," Edwards said. "Following an outstanding career at BYU as an offensive lineman, Mike has gone on to accomplish a lot of great things and has gained a great deal of experience and respect as a football coach. He will be a significant addition to our program and will fit right in with what we are trying to accomplish."

Empey, who blocked for such notables as Ty Detmer and John Walsh, was a four-year letterwinner for the Cougars from 1987, 1991-93, earning All-WAC academic honors as a junior and senior and first team All-Conference recognition as a senior in 1993. As a three-year starter and team captain as a senior, Empey helped lead the Cougars to four straight bowl appearances, including the All-American Bowl in 1987, the Aloha Bowl in 1992 and the Holiday Bowl in both 1991 and 1993. Following his senior season, the 6-7, 290-pound lineman signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.

After a successful collegiate playing career, the Pocatello, Ida., native graduated from BYU with a B.S. in athletic training and served on the BYU coaching staff as a graduate assistant for two seasons, working with the linebackers, defensive and offensive linemen. While coaching at BYU, Empey completed his M.S. degree in physical education. Following his three-year stint at BYU, Empey served as the tight ends coach at UNLV for two seasons (1997-98) before being named head football coach at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, following the 1998 season. In his first season at Snow, Empey led the Badgers to a 7-3 record, finishing tied for third in the Western States Football League. The Badgers were ranked as high as No. 10 during the season and led the nation in passing, averaging 351 yards per game. Snow also ranked second in the nation in total offense, producing 486 yards per game. Empey was responsible for producing seven all-conference performers, including Junior College All-American Olin Hannum (Ogden, Utah), who finished the season with 3,378 yards and 25 touchdowns.

"This is a dream come true for me to be able to come back and work for Coach Edwards," said Empey. "I hope I can contribute to the offense and help the staff continue its long tradition of success here at BYU."

Empey served an LDS Church mission to San Jose, Calif., (1988-90) and is married to the former Stephaine Wright from Saratoga, Calif. The couple have three children: Makenzie (5), James (3) and Savanna (9 months).

With Empey's hiring, the BYU coaching staff will undergo a few changes in coaching responsibilities. Ken Schmidt will now serve as assistant head coach and continue his responsibilities as the defensive coordinator. Offensive coordinator Lance Reynolds will coach the running backs, while Robbie Bosco will work with the quarterbacks. Chris Pella will coach the receivers and continue his responsibilities with the kickers, as well as the recruiting coordinator. Roger French will coach the interior offensive line, including the center and guard positions. It is anticipated all other coaching responsibilities will remain the same.