Mark Atuaia was hired as an assistant coach on Bronco Mendenhall's staff in January 2013. A former running back at BYU from 1991, 1994-96, Atuaia serves as the running backs coach.
He has been part of an offensive staff that guided BYU to a top-25 passing offense in 2015 after the Cougars ranked No. 14 in the nation in scoring offense in 2014, putting up 37.1 points per game—the most points by a BYU team since the 2001 season. In 2013 BYU's run game ranked No.10 in the nation averaging 267.3 yards per game.
Atuaia first joined BYU Athletics in June 2012 as the assistant to the athletics director for student services. He previously worked as the assistant to the dean of Student Life at BYU. He took that position after graduating in 2011 with both a doctor of jurisprudence from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and a master of public administration from the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU’s Marriott School of Management.
During Atuaia’s four-year playing career, BYU achieved a 39-11-2 record, won three conference titles and was ranked in the final top-25 three times. In addition, the offense was ranked in the top 10 nationally three of his four seasons.
As a senior in 1996 he started 13 games on BYU’s 14-1 Cotton Bowl team that finished the year ranked No. 5 in the country after defeating Kansas State 19-15 on New Year’s Day 1997. Atuaia also helped BYU defeat Oklahoma 31-6 in the 1994 Cooper Bowl to finish ranked No. 10 by CNN and No. 18 by The Associated Press with a 10-3 record.
Atuaia totaled 1,247 yards on 301 carries (4.1 yards per attempt) with 11 touchdowns during his college career, while adding 68 catches for 668 yards (9.8 yards per catch) and four scoring receptions. His career-long rush was 51 yards while his long reception went for 61 yards. Atuaia also added 113 return yards as a member of the kick return team his freshman and sophomore seasons.
A native of Laie, Hawai’i, Atuaia prepped at Kahuku High School before attending BYU. He served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tucson, Ariz., from 1992-93. He received his bachelor’s degree from BYU-Hawaii in 2003.
Atuaia and his wife Elizabeth, an accomplished recording artist and lead singer for the 1980s pop group The Jets, are the parents of seven children. His brothers Alema (1993, 1995-96) and Donny (1995-1999) also played football at BYU.