PROVO -- BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Thursday that assistant coach Barry Lamb has decided to retire from coaching, and graduate assistant Nick Howell has been hired to replace Lamb on the Cougar coaching staff.
Lamb, the Cougars’ outside linebackers coach, is retiring after a 33-year career that included 16 seasons at BYU and stints at six different schools.
“Barry is a loyal friend who has given his heart and soul to BYU and to coaching football,” Mendenhall said. “He absolutely loves the young men he coached and taught during his career. Barry has played a significant role in BYU’s success, and I’m extremely grateful to him for that. I appreciate not only his many contributions to our program but also his true friendship. I wish him the very best.”
A veteran defensive coach, Lamb took a leave of absence in March for health-related reasons after completing his 16th season at BYU in 2009. He first came to Provo as the safeties coach on LaVell Edwards’ staff in 1994. Coaching outside linebackers and special teams on Mendenhall’s staff, Lamb helped the Cougars achieve a 49-15 record over the past five years, including bowl invitations each season. Overall, he helped BYU earn a 129-66 record during his Cougar career with six conference championships and nine bowl invitations.
“I am leaving the best job I could ever have, working with the people and players at BYU,” Lamb said. “I truly believe I worked at the best place in the world. I was blessed to have the opportunity to coach at BYU, and I don’t believe I took it for granted any day. It was just wonderful. I have some health challenges, and I’ll continue to concentrate on those. I’m completely at peace with where I am and what I’m doing.”
Before coming to BYU, Lamb was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at San Diego State (1989-93), defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Idaho (1986-89), outside and inside linebackers, secondary and special teams coach at UNLV (1981-86), secondary coach at Arizona State (1980-81), and offensive and defensive line and outside linebackers coach at Oregon (1977-80).
He was an All-American linebacker and defensive end and Academic All-American at Santa Barbara City College (1973-74) before transferring to the University of Utah in 1975, where he suffered a career-ending back injury. A native of Santa Barbara, Calif., Lamb went on to obtain a B.S. in history at Oregon in 1978 before graduating Phi Kappa Phi at Arizona State with an M.A. in history in 1988.
Howell enters his fourth season on the BYU staff after serving the past three seasons as a graduate assistant. Since first being hired by Mendenhall in 2007, he has helped coach defensive backs and linebackers as the team’s defensive graduate assistant. Howell has been working as the team’s outside linebackers coach during Lamb’s leave of absence and will continue to serve in that capacity on the staff.
“Nick is one of the brightest young football coaches in the country,” Mendenhall said. “He is extremely diligent, energetic, and hard working. He is passionate about BYU. I am thrilled to have him continue to be part of our staff, and I am confident he will be successful in building on what Coach Lamb has done here at BYU.”
Howell enters his new role with eight years of coaching experience at the college and high school levels. Prior to coming to BYU in 2007, he was the head coach at Ben Lomond High School (Ogden, Utah) from 2004-2006 and served as defensive coordinator at Weber High School (North Ogden, Utah) in 2003 and defensive line coach at Sky View High School (Smithfield, Utah) in 2002.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity and excited to represent BYU in a new role on Coach Mendenhall’s staff,” Howell said. “I am looking forward to working with the players and making contributions to the program.”
A native of Ogden, Utah, Howell earned a M.A. in education with teaching certification from the University of Phoenix in 2007 after receiving his undergraduate degree in history from Weber State University (Ogden, Utah) in 2005. Howell and his wife Brooke have three children: Dakota, Kayla and Autumn.