News and notes across the BYU sports spectrum
Last fall, Jason Walker was in his fourth year as a defensive graduate assistant at BYU. This fall, he will be the head football coach at Southern Virginia University, an NCAA Division III school in Buena Vista, Va. That's a pretty rapid climb. Walker joined the SVU staff on March 20 as the Knights' defensive coordinator. But when recently hired head coach Tyler Hughes left SVU before even coaching a game to take the head job at D-II Minot State, Walker was given the reins to the program. "Jason Walker is a diligent worker, a quick study and passionate about football and building young men," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a news release on the SVU website. "I believe this is a great choice by Southern Virginia as it seeks to expand and improve its reputation through football." Walker played college football at Snow College and Utah State. SVU's release says he is pursuing a master's degree in public administration from BYU. "I also want to thank Bronco Mendenhall and the football staff at BYU for the opportunities for growth they offered me in this profession," Walker said in the release. "I am grateful for my family and they support they have always provided." Here are more tidbits from the BYU sports spectrum: * Former BYU basketball player Ian Harward, the 7-footer from Orem High, has signed to play for BYU-Hawaii this season. Harward will join a couple of transfers from Utah State Danny Berger and Jordan Stone in playing for the Seasiders and veteran coach Ken Wagner. Harward redshirted his first season at BYU (2011-12) after a church mission to San Antonio, Texas, and played in 22 games in 2012-13 as a redshirt freshman. He decided to give up basketball due to a back injury, but has apparently recovered enough to give it another shot. Harward has three remaining years of eligibility. Harward's best game as a Cougar came in New York when he scored seven points off the bench against No. 21 Notre Dame. * Former BYU basketball star Alan Taylor passed away last week after a lifelong battle with diabetes. Taylor, who starred for the Cougars from 1976-80 and is the 23rd-leading scorer in school history, was 55 years old. Here's more on Taylor's death and playing career at BYU. * Here's video of that crazy play in Saturday night's BYU-USC volleyball match when the Trojans thought they had won a point and huddled up while the ball was still in play. The point gave BYU a 7-6 lead in the set. * With the NFL Draft coming in a couple of weeks, it is probably time to start paying closer attention to which team will take former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Rob Rang, a senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com recently ranked the top 100 prospects available in the draft and put Van Noy at No. 32. Rang's Big Board isn't a mock draft and doesn't take teams' needs into consideration. He merely ranks the prospects after considering workouts, interviews and game film. Rang has former Timpview High star Xavier Su'a-Filo, the UCLA offensive lineman, at No. 31. Here's what he wrote about Van Noy: "Plays with more of a finesse rather than forceful style that will turn off some scouts, but in terms of versatility and production, Van Noy ranks among the elite defenders in the entire class."