Eye on the Y: AD Tom Holmoe is the true victor of the BYU football season

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe listens as BYU basketball coach Dave Rose talks about his career. Rose announced on Tuesday that he was retiring after a 14-year career in which he became BYU's all-time winningest men's basketball coach.

Tom Holmoe is a boss.

And I can already think of his next Halloween costume: a king. He better be sitting on a throne, casually holding a crown on one of his fingers.

That’s how people are seeing him following Thursday morning’s news: BYU football will play Coastal Carolina in a battle of the unbeatens on Saturday. It’s everything the Cougars and fans have wanted.

A couple of weeks ago, people got a little salty at BYU for seemingly turning up its nose at Washington and passing on the opportunity to play last weekend. But we all saw how that turned out — Arizona State canceled on Utah, so the Utes played the Huskies. BYU made the right decision in that situation.

But now Holmoe got the Cougars an even bigger opportunity — a Top 20 matchup featured on College Gameday.

Holmoe, who’s been the BYU AD for 15 years now, got emotional during a Zoom call Thursday afternoon when talking about how this all came to be and the opportunity is presents; He got choked up and fought back tears while talking.

Seeing how hard Holmoe has worked throughout the season, but especially locking in this game, means a lot to the players.

“Tom’s been awesome,” offensive lineman James Empey said. “He’s been so good with us this whole year and he’s been transparent with everything that’s going on, whether it was in the beginning where we didn’t really have any teams to play and then as we started scheduling teams. He’s just been so good. He’s been on our side a 100%. There’s not many ADs better than Tom, so we’re grateful to have him and grateful that he was able to get this game set up for us because we’re excited.”

More thoughts

• I think Mark Pope and the men’s basketball team spoiled me a bit last year. It was Pope’s first season as head coach at BYU and my first season covering the team and, after the season they had, I though this season would be another great one — even if the Cougars graduated Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Jake Toolson. But everyone was brought back to reality on Tuesday when USC made a mockery of BYU. Luckily the Cougars recovered the next day against St. John’s and were able to leave the Roman Legends Classic 1-1.

• Going back to football, the Cougars managed to move up one spot in the CFP rankings this week, but are still presumably out of a NY6 bowl slot. The next two game now have so much more weight and impact on the postseason. The Cougars haven’t played since the initial rankings have come out, so it would be beneficial to have the selection committee see BYU close out the season undefeated. We’ll see what happens in the next two weeks.

• I have to say, I was warned about BYU fans coming into this job and how intense they can be. That being said, I never got on CougarBoard until Thursday afternoon. I randomly came across it while looking for other links and decided to search my name to see what folks are saying about me — and I was pleasantly surprised! Y’all don’t hate me! Thanks for supporting me, even if you hate the paper I write for.

Other voices

• College Spun’s Andrew Holleran put together a piece on the college football world’s reactions to BYU taking Liberty’s spot against Coastal Carolina this Saturday.

• Nick Bromberg of Yahoo! Sports breaks down how the Cougars can find themselves in the Fiesta Bowl.

Normita’s Spanish Lesson of the Week



Example: “La importancia de este juego se puede sentir en todo el país.”

Translation: “The significance of this game can be felt throughout the nation.”