Report: Kelly Poppinga leaving Boise State to rejoin BYU football staff

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FILE – Kelly Poppinga directs players during Brigham Young University football practice in Provo, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Poppinga, the former BYU player and coach who coached six years at Virginia before joining the Boise State staff last year, is expected to rejoin the BYU coaching staff, according to B.J. Rains of Bronco Nation News.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

A former star BYU defender is reportedly rejoining the Cougars’ coaching staff.

B.J. Rains of Bronco Nation News reported Sunday night that Kelly Poppinga is expected to leave Boise State to return to his alma mater in a position not yet known.

Poppinga has extensive coaching experience coaching on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams.

This comes one week after Ilaisa Tuiaki announced on social media he was leaving the BYU football program after seven seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Poppinga has spent the past year at Boise State coaching the program’s edge rushers coach and serving as co-special teams coordinator.

This comes as BYU, which will play in the New Mexico Bowl against SMU, prepares to join the Big 12 Conference in the summer of 2023.

Prior to joining Andy Avalos’ staff at Boise State, Poppinga spent six years at Virginia under former BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall, serving the last four years as co-defensive coordinator. 

The Evanston, Wyoming, native coached from 2009-15 at BYU.

During that time, he was a defensive intern (2009), defensive graduate assistant and interim outside linebackers coach (2010), outside linebackers coach (2011-12) and the program’s special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach (2013-15). 

He was an All-Mountain West Conference linebacker at BYU in 2006-07, helping the Cougars win back-to-back conference championships, and played one season in the NFL before turning to coaching.

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