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Eye on the Y: BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe suddenly has some big job openings to fill

Holmoe must hire a baseball and women’s basketball coach on the doorstep of the Big 12

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 BYUÕs all-time winningest menÕs basketball coach.

Tom Holmoe hasn’t had to do as many interviews as some ADs.

In 17 years as BYU’s athletic director, Holmoe has hired two basketball coaches and one football coach. But elsewhere on campus, things have been relatively stable.

Oh, how things can change in a week.

In the span of three days, BYU saw its 10-year baseball coach Mike Littlewood resign in the middle of the season. Then 21-year stalwart Jeff Judkins decided to call it a career for the women’s basketball team just two weeks after saying he would stay for another season.

Just like that, two major openings in 72 hours. And it comes right as BYU is on the doorstep of the Big 12.

In both situations, though, Holmoe might not have to look far. The answers to who will take over those programs are probably closer to Provo than most think.

For the baseball program, associate head coach Trent Pratt is the odds-on favorite to take over for Littlewood. Pratt has already assumed the interim head coaching role and former players say he has been “next in line” for years.

He has been at BYU since 2013 and has the Power Five experience that makes sense as BYU heads into the country’s most competitive baseball conference. Pratt played at Arizona State and Auburn. He also has Utah recruiting ties, starting his career as a coach at Dixie State.

“He’s the next person not only for an interim head coach, but in an official head coaching position,” former pitcher Riley Gates said. “He’s able to connect with a lot of players.”

And on the women’s basketball side, Holmoe and the university said it will immediately begin a national search for his replacement. But there are at least some coaches already working in the state of Utah that could make sense for BYU.

Things we are watching:

• BYU men’s basketball assistant Chris Burgess is gone. Here are three possibilities for his replacement.

• BYU football is carrying a massive roster this spring. It means a wave of transfers is coming.

Mike Littlewood gave his first public comments to The Salt Lake Tribune after abruptly resigning.