BYU football recruiting: What retiring Paul Tidwell has learned

Retiring Paul Tidwell ran the gamut throughout his profession as a soccer coach. From teaching a national championship team at Snow College to witnessing Luke Staley win the Doak Walker Award on a BYU group that gained 12 video games throughout his first season in Provo, Tidwell’s scrapbook is full.

Tidwell retires on the finish of July as a pupil welfare specialist in BYU’s athletic division. He shall be remembered as a form, forthright, insightful builder of younger males.

It was Tidwell who recruited — from begin to end — two-time Tremendous Bowl champion linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who spent a season with the Miami Dolphins and is now back in New England. Van Noy a member of the Patriots all-decade group. Tidwell was BYU’s recruiting coordinator when the Cougars’ recruiting class ranked twenty second within the nation in 2010 — an accomplishment BYU hasn’t been near repeating since.

Tidwell says the recruiting star rating could be fascinating to comply with however it’s removed from correct in deciphering how good a highschool athlete can develop into in school or the NFL.

He’s acquired two prime examples.

Brant Boyer was a thin child out of Coalville in northern Utah. Individuals informed him he’d by no means play school ball as a result of he was too small. “Get on together with your schooling,” he was suggested. “Hand over soccer,” they stated.

Tidwell inspired Boyer to stroll on at Snow Faculty the place he redshirted his freshman yr then began two years as an inside linebacker. He then accepted a scholarship at Arizona and began his junior and senior seasons for what was is aware of as “Desert Swarm,” the No. 1-ranked protection within the nation. Then Boyer performed 12 years within the NFL. Proper now, he’s the particular groups coach for the New York Jets and has held that job by way of three head teaching adjustments.

“I couldn’t be extra pleased with Boyer and what he’s completed,” stated Tidwell.


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Derek Smith, left, chases Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning within the second half of an NFL soccer sport on this Oct. 9, 2005, in San Francisco.
George Nikitin, Related Press

Instance No. 2 is Derek Smith out of American Fork. Smith had a few Division I provides out of highschool however determined to go to Snow Faculty and play linebacker for Tidwell. He ended up on scholarship at Arizona State then began for the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers in a 10-year NFL profession.

Tidwell was wanting by way of his telephone the opposite day, rifling by way of names of contacts, former gamers, some stars, some not, and he got here throughout David Foote from St. George, a walk-on operating again at BYU. Tidwell despatched him a textual content, praising him, telling him he was one of many hardest soccer gamers he’d ever been round and he’d walked on at BYU. Foote, says Tidwell, epitomizes most of the athletes he’s seen come by way of the Cougars program. “That’s what makes BYU nice, I believe. Simply work arduous and wish to be part of this system. They’re only a nice match; they wish to be part of BYU.”

Tidwell performed fullback at Utah State from 1973 by way of 1976 earlier than he acquired into teaching highschool at Richfield Excessive, then North Sanpete Excessive in Mount Nice. He turned the Snow Faculty defensive coordinator within the mid-’80s, the place he joined offensive coordinator Gary Crowton in bringing the 1985 NJCAA nationwide championship trophy to Ephraim underneath head coach Walt Criner. That group went 11-0.

Whereas in Ephraim, Tidwell went to the house of Bronco Mendenhall with Criner to recruit him to Snow Faculty. It was a profitable pitch and Mendenhall turned a member of that excellent 1985 group.

Tidwell labored as the pinnacle coach at Jap Arizona within the early ’90s earlier than following Crowton to Louisiana Tech. When Crowton changed the legendary LaVell Edwards in 2001, he introduced Tidwell with him.

“I hit the jackpot, my dream job,” is how Tidwell places his rent.

“I keep in mind once we began the season 8-0 and I informed my spouse I needed to pinch myself as a result of this was my dream job and this had turned out to be a dream season. The Cougars had Brandon Doman and Staley and a steady of gamers who chased an undefeated season and put actual stress on the BCS to allow them to in. Didn’t occur.

However Tidwell was a part of BYU’s employees that registered the No. 24-ranked protection in 2010, the No. 13 protection in 2011, and the No. 3 protection in 2012.

When Mendenhall left for Virginia, Tidwell accepted a job within the athletic division at BYU in 2015 working with athletes from all sports activities, a job he stated was very fulfilling due to the broad relationships he constructed with each men and women.

It helped to have a Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah to ascertain a nation-leading protection, stated Tidwell, and it was that success that helped BYU get the No. 22 recruiting class again in 2010.

“I believe the success BYU had this previous yr will actually enhance recruiting proper now and they’ll reap the rewards,” stated Tidwell.

Like so many coaches who’ve made that profession their life, Tidwell says the factor he’ll keep in mind most are the relationships with gamers, directors, dad and mom and fellow coaches. He has a built-in buddy base and connections that span virtually 5 many years.

Tidwell fondly displays on a recruiting journey he made to Reno to recruit Van Noy at McQueen Excessive. He was operating late that morning and the visitors was dangerous. His foot on the pedal acquired a bit heavy making an attempt to get to the college earlier than lessons started.

All of the sudden he noticed it. Pink flashing lights on a police cruiser pulled up behind him as he pulled into the college parking zone. His coronary heart sort of sunk with that feeling of woe, that each one he wanted was a rushing ticket on a street journey.

The officer requested Tidwell for his identification as he defined who he was and why he was there. He was sporting his BYU gear. At simply that second, Van Noy got here as much as the scene smiling and stated, “Hey, coach Tidwell, what’s up?”

The officer requested if Van Noy was the recruit he was visiting that day.

“Sure, he’s,” Tidwell replied.

“Effectively, good luck and have a pleasant day,” replied the patrolman as he turned and left.


Tidwell cemented a couple of in all his days with a cap, whistle and all that college gear.


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