Tom Holmoe says Big 12 application process showcased BYU’s strengths, talks program’s future

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BYU athletics has never been in a better position, according to BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe in his State of the Program address on BYUtv Friday morning.

“Over the past year, while preparing for the possibility of expansion, we’ve had the opportunity to conduct a thorough examination of BYU athletics,” Holmoe said in his broadcast. “This self-examination reaffirmed various foundational strengths we knew about the BYU athletic program, but also brought to light many advantages we hadn’t fully appreciated.”

In his pep talk to BYU fans, Holmoe discussed the strengths he saw in evaluating the program for the Big 12 application as well as the bright future BYU athletics holds.

“If other BYU P5 opportunities arise, we will be very prepared to showcase BYU and all it has to offer,” Holmoe said.

“If other BYU P5 opportunities arise, we will be very prepared to showcase BYU and all it has to offer.” —Tom Holmoe, BYU athletic director

Holmoe mention the overwhelming crowd at BYU football’s season opener in Arizona. The BYU fans overtook the Arizona fans, which Holmoe says creates a feeling of a home game — and BYU athletes often feel like it is a home game when traveling.

“I’ve said this before: We’ll play anyone, anywhere, anytime and our fans will come out in droves to cheer us on,” Holmoe said.

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He discussed the state of BYU football’s state of independence and how that has opened doors for the Cougars. The initial drive for independence was two-fold: (1) to create exposure for student-athletes and the school and (2) access for our fans.

“Given the changing landscape of college football, I admit there’s been a few moments over the past few years where I’ve wondered about the sustainability of independence for our current football program,” Holmoe said. “But the more we looked at our current circumstances, including the energy and outlook of our football program under coach Sitake, the more I became excited for the vision for our program.”

“Together as Cougar Nation, we control our own future. I’m convinced we have a fantastic future ahead of us. Will it be easy? Of course not.  What lies ahead rests in our hands — your’s and mine. And it will take all of us working together to make it happen.” —Tom Holmoe, BYU athletic director

Independence has opened broadcasting doors, according to Holmoe. BYU is one of two teams, the other being Notre Dame, that have had all their games broadcast to national audiences all year. The BYU football team averages 10 games on ABC or ESPN every year while the BYU basketball team averages 14 games broadcast on these channels. Also, going independent freed contract restrictions that kept BYU from broadcasting games on its own channel, BYUtv, so now more games are available to fans across the country.

Holmoe admitted the program had dreamed of the money P5 schools could offer the program, but said donors have done wonders for the program.

“I believe our teams do more with less than almost any school in the country,” Holmoe said.

“The heart and soul of BYU Cougars has never been money. Although it certainly does take financial support to run a successful athletic program, the real driving force behind BYU has always been good old-fashioned passion, desire and purpose.”

Overall, Holmoe’s message was a reassurance for fans of BYU athletics future.

“Together as Cougar Nation, we control our own future,” Holmoe said. “I’m convinced we have a fantastic future ahead of us. Will it be easy? Of course not.  What lies ahead rests in our hands — your’s and mine. And it will take all of us working together to make it happen.”

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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