Brett Pyne | Posted: 27 Apr 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Russell Tialavea named BYU assistant director of football operations

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PROVO, Utah — BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced Russell Tialavea has been named assistant director of football operations.

“I’m happy to announce Russell Tialavea is joining our staff as the assistant director of football operations,” Mendenhall said. “Russell is a remarkable individual who loves BYU and understands the needs of our players. We are excited to have him return to the program and look forward to his ongoing contributions to BYU football.” 

A former BYU defensive lineman, Tialavea was a member of Cougar teams from 2005-2009 and again in 2012 after serving as a missionary in Chile for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tialavea played in 47 games, including 31 starts, as a significant contributor each season on the field for the Cougars. He totaled 74 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, five fumble recoveries, five pass breakups and an amazing six blocked kicks.   

“I’m really excited to be part of the football program at BYU,” Tialavea said. “I’m looking forward to making a great impact for both the players and the staff.”

An Oceanside, California, native, Tialavea joins the football staff after working the past year as an academic specialist in the BYU Student Athlete Academic Center, where he served as an academic liaison with the football program. Before working in the SAAC at BYU, Tialavea served as a human resource specialist and paraprofessional academic representative at Heritage Schools in Provo and worked as a student affairs intern with BYU Multicultural Student Services and as a student services intern with BYUSA. 

Tialavea graduated from BYU in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Known for his service, he was named the BYU Service Athlete of the Year following his senior season in 2012.  

As the assistant director of operations, Tialavea’s responsibilities in addition to assisting with day-to-day operations will include student-athlete academic and career development, alumni relations and coordinating the team’s Band of Brothers program.