BYU Cougars football

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BYU Cougars football
BYU Cougars logo.svg
First season 1922
Athletic director Tom Holmoe
Head coach Kalani Sitake
2nd season, 13–13 (.500)
Other staff Jeff Grimes (OC)
Ilaisa Tuiaki (DC)
Stadium LaVell Edwards Stadium
(Capacity: 63,470
Record: 66,247)
Field surface Natural grass
Location Provo, Utah
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Independent
Past conferences
All-time record 568–415–26 (.576)
Bowl record 14–20–1 (.414)
Claimed nat'l titles 1 - (Div. I): 1984
Conference titles 23
1965, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007
Rivalries Utah Utes (Holy War)
Utah State Aggies (Old Wagon Wheel)
Boise State Broncos
Heisman winners Ty Detmer (1990)
Consensus All-Americans
Colors Blue and White[1]
Fight song The Cougar Song
Mascot Cosmo the Cougar
Marching band The Power of the Wasatch
Outfitter Nike

The BYU Cougars football team is the college football program representing Brigham Young University (BYU), a private university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and located in Provo, Utah. The Cougars began collegiate football competition in 1922, and have won 23 conference championships and one national championship in 1984. The team has competed in several different athletic conferences during its history, but since July 1, 2011, it has competed as an Independent. The team plays home games at the 63,470-seat LaVell Edwards Stadium, which is named after legendary head coach LaVell Edwards. LaVell Edwards won 20 conference championships, seven bowl games, and one national championship (1984) while coaching at BYU, and is regarded as the most successful coach in BYU program history.


The early years[edit]

The school's first football team won the regional championship in 1896.

BYU traces its football roots back to the late 19th century. Benjamin Cluff became the third principal of Brigham Young Academy (the precursor to BYU) in 1892 (the school was converted into a university in 1903) and was influenced by his collegiate studies at the University of Michigan to bring athletic competition to Brigham Young. The first BYU football team in 1896 played the University of Utah (winning 12–4), the Elks, the Crescents, the YMCA of Salt Lake City, the Wheel Club of Denver, and Westminster College; and it ultimately won the championship.[2] In its second year of competition, the BYA football team won the championship too, but as a result of an accidental football-related death in Utah in 1900, football was banned from all LDS Church schools until 1919.[3]

After a twenty-year ban on football, the sport was brought back to BYU on an intramural basis in 1919, and intercollegiate games were resumed in 1920 under coach Alvin Twitchell.[4] BYU was admitted to the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1921 and had its first winning year in 1929 under the helm of coach G. Ott Romney, who BYU recruited from Montana State University the year before.[5] Romney and his successor Eddie Kimball ushered in a new era in Cougar football in which the team went 65–51–12 between 1928–1942. In 1932, the Cougars posted an 8–1 record and outscored their opponents 188–50, which remains one of the school's finest seasons on record. The university did not field a team from 1943–1945 due to World War II, and in 1949 suffered its only winless season, going 0–11.

The team began to rebuild in the mid-1950s, recruiting University of Rhode Island head coach Hal Kopp to lead the Cougars, whom achieved back-to-back winning seasons in 1957 and 1958, led by southpaw quarterback Jared Stephens and nose tackle Gavin Anae. In 1961, Eldon "The Phantom" Fortie became the school's first All-American, and in 1962, BYU moved to the Western Athletic Conference. In 1964, Cougar Stadium was built, which included a capacity of 30,000, and in 1965, head coach Tommy Hudspeth led the Cougars to their first conference championship with a record of 6–4.

LaVell Edwards era (1972–2000)[edit]

In 1972, assistant coach LaVell Edwards was promoted to head coach, succeeding Hudspeth. Edwards and his staff installed a drop-back passing game considered to be an early implementation of the West Coast offense, resulting in Cougar Pete Van Valkenburg as the nation's leading rusher for that year. The following year, the Cougars struggled to a 5–6 finish, but this would be Edwards' only losing season during his run as BYU coach over the next three decades. In fact, the Cougars won the conference championship every year except one from 1974–1985, including the national championship in 1984. However, the Cougars lost their first four bowl games. Their first post-season win came in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, which has become known as the "Miracle Bowl" since BYU was trailing SMU 45–25 with four minutes left in the game and then came back to win.[6] BYU would win its 1981, 1983 and 1984 bowl games as well; and it earned the nickname "Quarterback U" for consistently producing All-American quarterbacks, which included Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon and Steve Young. During this period, Young finished second for the Heisman Trophy in 1983 and McMahon finished third for the trophy in 1981.

In 1984, BYU reached the pinnacle of college football when it won the national championship. The undefeated Cougars (12–0–0) opened the season with a 20–14 victory over Pitt, ranked No. 3 in the nation at the time and finished with a victory over the Michigan Wolverines (6–5–0). BYU defeated Michigan 24–17 in the Holiday Bowl, marking the only time a national champion played in a bowl game before New Year's Day, and the last time the national championship was won by a team from a non-power 5 conference.[7] Coupled with the 11 consecutive wins to close out the 1983 season, BYU concluded the 1984 championship on a 24-game winning streak. At the end of the season, BYU was crowned as National Champion after being a unanimous number one in all four NCAA sanctioned polls AP, Coaches, NFF and FWAA.

In 1985, quarterback Robbie Bosco finished third in the Heisman balloting; in 1986, defensive lineman Jason Buck became the first BYU player ever to win the Outland Trophy; and in 1989, offensive lineman Mo Elewonibi also won the Outland Trophy. In 1990, the Cougars achieved their first victory over a top-ranked team when they defeated the #1 Miami Hurricanes early in the season, and the season culminated with quarterback Ty Detmer becoming BYU's first and only Heisman Trophy winner. In 1996, BYU won the first ever WAC Championship Game in Las Vegas and earned a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl against Kansas State of the newly formed Big 12 Conference, making it BYU's first ever New Year's Day bowl game, which they won 19–15. BYU finished ranked No. 5 in both the Coaches and AP polls, and became the first team in NCAA history to win 14 games in a season.[8]

In 1999, BYU left the WAC along with seven other teams to form the Mountain West Conference, with the Cougars winning a share of the inaugural MWC championship. Just prior to the 2000 season, Edwards announced that it would be his final year as the program's head coach, and prior to Edwards' final home game, LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that Cougar Stadium would be renamed "LaVell Edwards Stadium".[9] Edwards was carried off the field following the season closer against the Utes.


Fans storming the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2009 after #19 BYU beat #21 Utah 26–23 in overtime
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman making a catch at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon in a 2011 game against Oregon State, which the Cougars won 38–28.

Former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was hired to replace Edwards. His first season was successful, earning a 12–2 record and running back Luke Staley earning the Doak Walker Award, but the Cougars posted losing records the following three seasons (including only nine conference wins)–BYU's first losing records in three decades. His teams also received negative publicity for infractions of the university's honor code. He was forced to resign on December 1, 2004.[10][11][12] BYU originally offered the job to Utah defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham, who had played for Edwards in the late 1970s. However, when Whittingham opted instead to become head coach at Utah, the Cougars instead offered the job to BYU defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall, who accepted.

On September 1, 2010, BYU announced it would begin competition as a football independent starting in the 2011 season, primarily due to years of frustration with the lack of TV coverage in the Mountain West Conference and the University of Utah's departure for the Pac-12 Conference. BYU later entered into an 8-year contract with ESPN in which 11 games would be broadcast on one of the ESPN networks and BYU would retain the rights to utilize its on-campus broadcasting facilities and nationally syndicated station. The Cougars were reportedly considered for invitations by the Big XII Conference and former Big East Conference for all sports during this period, but neither opted to add BYU. In February 2011, CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award Ben Cahoon joined the coaching staff as the wide receivers coach.[13]

In 2011, BYU changed quarterbacks mid-season from sophomore Jake Heaps to junior Riley Nelson, and in 2012 three different quarterbacks were utilized at different points in the season. During the 2012 offseason, graduated defensive end Ziggy Ansah was drafted as the #5 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, tied for the highest draft BYU alumnus with Jim McMahon '82.[14] For the 2013 BYU football season, the Cougars were slated to compete against four pre-season-ranked teams.

In January 2015, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which had previously announced that from 2017 forward all members had to play at least one non-conference game each season against a "Power 5" team (i.e., a school in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, or SEC, plus Notre Dame, an FBS independent but otherwise an ACC member), announced that games against BYU would not count toward the "Power 5" requirement, a stipulation also held by the SEC. Weeks later, both leagues reversed course and opted to count games against BYU and the other remaining FBS independent at that time, Army, toward meeting the P5 provision. In the case of the SEC, this change in policy was driven more by the trend of "Power 5" leagues requiring nine conference games. At the time of the report, the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 either had nine-game conference schedules or were introducing them in the near future. The ACC has an eight-game schedule, but also has a scheduling alliance with Notre Dame that has five ACC members playing the Fighting Irish each season. Additionally, three SEC teams had a total of five games scheduled with BYU from 2015 to 2020.[15] In July 2015, the Big Ten announced that games against BYU would count toward the conference's "Power 5" scheduling requirement that takes effect in 2016.[16] In late 2015, the Big XII Conference added a Power Five non-conference scheduling requirement and stated that BYU would not count toward filling that mandate.[17]

On December 4, 2015, Mendenhall accepted the head coach position with Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).[18] His 99 wins in 11 seasons are second all-time in school history, behind only Edwards.

BYU spent more than a week courting Navy Midshipmen football head coach Ken Niumatalolo to take over the Cougars program. After several days, which included a visit to Provo and public remarks about considering the job, Niumatalolo ultimately declined BYU's offer in order to remain with Navy. With his top choice no longer available, athletics director Tom Holmoe moved on to several other potential candidates and on Dec. 19 introduced Oregon State defensive coordinator and former Cougars fullback Kalani Sitake as BYU's next head coach.[19]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Name Position
Kalani Sitake Head Coach
Ed Lamb Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams/Linebackers Coach
Jeff Grimes Offensive Coordinator
Ryan Pugh Offensive Line Coach
Fesi Sitake Wide Receivers Coach
Steve Clark Tight End Coach
Aaron Roderick Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Ilaisa Tuiaki Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach
Preston Hadley Safeties Coach
Jernaro Gilford Cornerbacks Coach
A.J. Seward Running Backs Coach
Nu'u Tafisi Strength & Conditioning
Russell Tialavea Football Operations
Tevita Ofahengaue Recruiting Operations
Jack Damuni Player Personnel
Jasen Ah You Athletic Relations
Sione Kinikini Player Development

Season results[edit]

Year Coach Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Rocky Mountain Conference (1922–1938)
1922 Alvin Twitchell 1–5 1–5 8th
1923 Alvin Twitchell 2–5 1–5 T–7th
1924 Alvin Twitchell 2–3–1 1–3–1
1925 C.J. Hart 3–3 3–3 T–6th
1926 C.J. Hart 1–5–1 1–4–1 9th
1927 C.J. Hart 2–4–1 2–4 7th
1928 G. Ott Romney 3–3–1 1–3–1 10th
1929 G. Ott Romney 5–3 4–2 4th
1930 G. Ott Romney 5–2–4 4–1–1 3rd
1931 G. Ott Romney 4–4 2–3 7th
1932 G. Ott Romney 8–1 5–1 2nd
1933 G. Ott Romney 5–4 5–3 5th
1934 G. Ott Romney 4–5 3–5 7th
1935 G. Ott Romney 4–4 3–4 T–6th
1936 G. Ott Romney 4–5 4–4 6th
1937 Eddie Kimball 6–3 5–2 T–2nd
1938 Eddie Kimball 4–3–1 3–2–1 2nd
RMC Totals: 63–62–9 (.504) 48–54–5 (.472)
Mountain States/Skyline Conference (1939–1961)
1939 Eddie Kimball 5–2–2 2–2–2 4th
1940 Eddie Kimball 2–4–2 2–3–1 4th
1941 Eddie Kimball 4–3–2 3–1–2 2nd
1942 Floyd Millet 2–5 1–4 T–6th
1946 Eddie Kimball 5–4–1 3–2–1 4th
1947 Eddie Kimball 3–7 1–5 7th
1948 Eddie Kimball 5–6 1–3 5th
1949 Chick Atkinson 0–11 0–5 6th
1950 Chick Atkinson 4–5–1 1–3–1 5th
1951 Chick Atkinson 6–3–1 2–3–1 5th
1952 Chick Atkinson 4–6 3–4 5th
1953 Chick Atkinson 2–7–1 1–5–1 T–7th
1954 Chick Atkinson 1–8 1–6 8th
1955 Chick Atkinson 1–9 0–7 8th
1956 Hal Kopp 2–7–1 1–5–1 7th
1957 Hal Kopp 5–3–2 5–1–1 2nd
1959 Hal Kopp 6–4 5–2 3rd
1959 Tally Stevens 3–7 2–5 T–5th
1960 Tally Stevens 3–8 2–5 5th
1961 Hal Mitchel 2–8 2–4 T–5th
MSC/SC Totals: 65–117–13 (.367) 38–75–11 (.351)
Western Athletic Conference (1962–1998)
1962 Hal Mitchel 4–6 2–2 T–2nd
1963 Hal Mitchel 2–8 0–4 5th
1964 Tommy Hudspeth 3–6–1 0–4 5th
1965 Tommy Hudspeth 6–4 4–1 1st
1966 Tommy Hudspeth 8–2 3–2 T–2nd
1967 Tommy Hudspeth 6–4 3–2 3rd
1968 Tommy Hudspeth 2–8 1–5 7th
1969 Tommy Hudspeth 6–4 4–3 3rd
1970 Tommy Hudspeth 3–8 1–6 T–7th
1971 Tommy Hudspeth 5–6 3–4 4th
1972 LaVell Edwards 7–4 5–2 T–2nd
1973 LaVell Edwards 5–6 3–4 4th
1974 LaVell Edwards 7–4–1 6–0–1 1st L Fiesta
1975 LaVell Edwards 6–5 4–3 T–4th
1976 LaVell Edwards 9–3 6–1 1st L Tangerine
1977 LaVell Edwards 9–2 6–1 T–1st 16 20
1978 LaVell Edwards 9–4 5–1 1st L Holiday
1979 LaVell Edwards 11–1 7–0 1st L Holiday 12 13
1980 LaVell Edwards 12–1 6–1 1st W Holiday 11 12
1981 LaVell Edwards 11–2 7–1 1st W Holiday 11 13
1982 LaVell Edwards 8–4 7–1 1st L Holiday
1983 LaVell Edwards 11–1 7–0 1st W Holiday 7 7
1984 LaVell Edwards 13–0 8–0 1st W Holiday 1 1
1985 LaVell Edwards 11–3 7–1 1st L Citrus 17 16
1986 LaVell Edwards 8–5 6–2 2nd L Freedom
1987 LaVell Edwards 9–4 7–1 2nd L All-American
1988 LaVell Edwards 9–4 5–3 T–3rd W Freedom
1989 LaVell Edwards 10–3 7–1 1st L Holiday 18 22
1990 LaVell Edwards 10–3 7–1 1st L Holiday 17 22
1991 LaVell Edwards 8–3–2 7–0–1 1st T Holiday 23 23
1992 LaVell Edwards 8–5 6–2 T-1st L Aloha
1993 LaVell Edwards 6–6 6–2 T–1st L Holiday
1994 LaVell Edwards 10–3 6–2 T–2nd W Copper 10 18
1995 LaVell Edwards 7–4 6–2 T–1st
1996 LaVell Edwards 14–1 10–0 T–1st W Cotton 5 5
1997 LaVell Edwards 6–5 4–4 5th
1998 LaVell Edwards 9–5 7–2 2nd L Liberty
WAC Totals: 288–147–4 (.661) 189–71–2 (.725)
Mountain West Conference (1999–2010)
1999 LaVell Edwards 8–4 5–2 T–1st L Motor City
2000 LaVell Edwards 6–6 4–3 T–3rd
2001 Gary Crowton 12–2 7–0 1st L Liberty 24 25
2002 Gary Crowton 5–7 2–5 7th
2003 Gary Crowton 4–8 3–4 3rd
2004 Gary Crowton 5–6 4–3 3rd
2005 Bronco Mendenhall 6–6 5–3 T–2nd L Las Vegas
2006 Bronco Mendenhall 11–2 8–0 1st W Las Vegas 15 16
2007 Bronco Mendenhall 11–2 8–0 1st W Las Vegas 14 14
2008 Bronco Mendenhall 10–3 6–2 3rd L Las Vegas 21 25
2009 Bronco Mendenhall 11–2 7–1 2nd W Las Vegas 12 12
2010 Bronco Mendenhall 7–6 5–3 T–3rd W New Mexico
MWC Totals: 96–54 (.640) 64–26 (.711)
Independent (2011–present)
2011 Bronco Mendenhall 10–3 n/a n/a W Armed Forces 25
2012 Bronco Mendenhall 8–5 n/a n/a W Poinsettia
2013 Bronco Mendenhall 8–5 n/a n/a L Fight Hunger Bowl
2014 Bronco Mendenhall 8–5 n/a n/a L Miami Beach Bowl
2015 Bronco Mendenhall 9–4 n/a n/a L Las Vegas Bowl
2016 Kalani Sitake 9–4 n/a n/a W Poinsettia Bowl
2017 Kalani Sitake 4–9 n/a n/a
Independent Totals: 56–35 (.615) n/a
Total: 568–415–26 (.576)
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Bowl games[edit]

Date Bowl W/L Score
December 28, 1974 Fiesta Bowl L BYU 6 Oklahoma State 16
December 18, 1976 Tangerine Bowl L #17 BYU 21 #14 Oklahoma State 49
December 22, 1978 Holiday Bowl L BYU 16 Navy 23
December 21, 1979 Holiday Bowl L #9 BYU 37 Indiana 38
December 19, 1980 Holiday Bowl W #14 BYU 46 #19 SMU 45
December 18, 1981 Holiday Bowl W #12 BYU 38 #18 Washington State 36
December 17, 1982 Holiday Bowl L BYU 17 #16 Ohio State 47
December 23, 1983 Holiday Bowl W #9 BYU 21 Missouri 17
December 21, 1984 Holiday Bowl W #1 BYU 24 Michigan 17
December 28, 1985 Florida Citrus Bowl L #9 BYU 7 #17 Ohio State 10
December 30, 1986 Freedom Bowl L BYU 10 #15 UCLA 31
December 22, 1987 All-American Bowl L BYU 16 Virginia 22
December 29, 1988 Freedom Bowl W BYU 20 #20 Colorado 17
December 29, 1989 Holiday Bowl L #16 BYU 39 #18 Penn State 50
December 29, 1990 Holiday Bowl L #9 BYU 14 #19 Texas A&M 65
December 30, 1991 Holiday Bowl T BYU 13 #7 Iowa 13
December 25, 1992 Aloha Bowl L #23 BYU 20 Kansas 23
December 30, 1993 Holiday Bowl L BYU 21 #10 Ohio State 28
December 29, 1994 Copper Bowl W #19 BYU 31 Oklahoma 6
January 1, 1997 Cotton Bowl Classic W #5 BYU 19 #14 Kansas State 15
December 31, 1998 Liberty Bowl L BYU 27 #10 Tulane 41
December 27, 1999 Motor City Bowl L #25 BYU 3 #11 Marshall 21
December 31, 2001 Liberty Bowl L #17 BYU 10 #22 Louisville 28
December 22, 2005 Las Vegas Bowl L BYU 28 California 35
December 21, 2006 Las Vegas Bowl W #19 BYU 38 Oregon 8
December 22, 2007 Las Vegas Bowl W #17 BYU 17 UCLA 16
December 21, 2008 Las Vegas Bowl L #16 BYU 21 Arizona 31
December 22, 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas W #14 BYU 44 #16 Oregon State 20
December 18, 2010 New Mexico Bowl W BYU 52 UTEP 24
December 30, 2011 Armed Forces Bowl W BYU 24 Tulsa 21
December 20, 2012 Poinsettia Bowl W BYU 23 San Diego State 6
December 27, 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl L BYU 16 Washington 31
December 22, 2014 Miami Beach Bowl L BYU 48 (2 OT) Memphis 55 (2 OT)
December 19, 2015 Las Vegas Bowl L BYU 28 #22 Utah 35
December 21, 2016 Poinsettia Bowl W BYU 24 Wyoming 21
Total 35 bowl games 14–20–1 839 961

Record book[edit]

BYU has had 18 final season rankings in the Top 25. The team has made 35 Bowl appearances with a record of 14–20–1. They have played in the Holiday Bowl (4–6–1), the Cotton Bowl Classic (1–0), the Las Vegas Bowl (3–3), the Copper Bowl (1–0), the Tangerine/Citrus Bowl (0–2), the Freedom Bowl (1–1), the Liberty Bowl (0–2), the Aloha Bowl (0–1), the Fiesta Bowl (0–1), the Motor City Bowl (0–1), the All-American Bowl (0–1), the New Mexico Bowl (1–0), the Armed Forces Bowl (1–0), the Poinsettia Bowl (2–0), Fight Hunger Bowl (0–1), and the Miami Beach Bowl (0–1).

Record by coach[edit]

Name Seasons Record PCT
Alvin Twitchell 1922–24 5–13–1 .289
C. J. Hart 1925–27 6–12–2 .350
G. Ott Romney 1928–36 42–31–5 .571
Floyd Millet 1942 2–5–0 .286
Eddie Kimball 1937–41, 46–48 34–32–8 .514
Chick Atkinson 1949–55 18–49–3 .279
Hal Kopp 1956–58 13–14–3 .483
Tally Stevens 1959–60 6–15–0 .286
Hal Mitchell 1961–63 8–22–0 .267
Tommy Hudspeth 1964–71 39–42–1 .482
LaVell Edwards 1972–2000 257–101–3 .716
Gary Crowton 2001–04 26–23 .531
Bronco Mendenhall 2005–2015 99–43 .697
Kalani Sitake 2016–present 13–13 .500


Team awards for the BYU Cougars include 23 conference titles and one national championship in 1984. For player awards, BYU has produced 51 All-Americans (13 Consensus All-Americans),[20] and one Heisman Trophy winner (Ty Detmer in 1990). Other BYU players finishing in the top ten in Heisman voting include Gary Sheide (8th in 1974), Gifford Nielsen (6th in 1976), Marc Wilson (3rd in 1979), Jim McMahon (5th in 1980, 3rd in 1981), Steve Young (2nd in 1983), Robbie Bosco (3rd in 1984 and 1985), and Ty Detmer (9th in 1989, Winner in 1990, 3rd in 1991). Detmer also won the Maxwell Award (best football player) in 1990.

Four BYU players have won the Davey O'Brien Award (best quarterback)—Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Ty Detmer twice—more than any other school; and seven players have won the Sammy Baugh Trophy (best passer): Steve Sarkisian (1996), Gary Sheide (1974), Marc Wilson (1979), Jim McMahon (1981), Steve Young (1983), Robbie Bosco (1984), and Ty Detmer (1991). Luke Staley won the Doak Walker Award (best running back) and Jim Brown Trophy (best running back) in 2001. Two players earned the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman): Jason Buck (1986) and Moe Elewonibi (1989). One player Ty Detmer won the Maxwell Award 1990.

For coaching, LaVell Edwards received the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award in 1979,[21] the AFCA (Kodak) Coach of the Year Award in 1984, and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (career achievement) in 2003.

Six players have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (Gifford Nielsen in 1994, Marc Wilson in 1996, Jim McMahon in 1999, Steve Young in 2001, Gordon Hudson in 2009, and Ty Detmer in 2011) and LaVell Edwards was inducted as a coach in 2004.


From the 1970s to 1999—a period coinciding with some of the school's best and most prominent football seasons—BYU school colors were royal blue and white. The football team generally wore royal blue jerseys and white pants at home, and white jerseys and royal blue pants on the road.

In 1999, Coach Edwards' penultimate year, the school colors switched to dark blue, white, and tan, and the football helmets switched from white to dark blue. The block 'Y' remained on the sides of the helmet but received a new, more current treatment. The home uniforms consisted of dark blue jerseys with white "bib" and dark blue pants, and the away uniforms consisted of white jerseys with white pants. These new uniforms were disliked by both the conservative fans in Provo and the NCAA, who required the team to remove the white bib on the front of the blue home jersey in 2000 (NCAA rules require that a team's jersey have a single dominant color). The home jersey thereafter was modified with blue replacing the white on the bib area.

These uniforms lasted until 2004, when a uniform new style incorporating New York Jets-style shoulder stripes was introduced (the helmets remained the same). The new uniforms were worn in a "mix-and-match" strategy—e.g., the home blue jerseys were worn with either blue or white pants and the white away jerseys were worn with either blue or white pants. This uniform incarnation lasted for only one season.

Ultimately, the traditional design with the white helmet and former logo was re-introduced for the 2005 season. While the uniforms were also changed to be similar to the 1980s uniforms, the darker blue remained instead of the former royal blue, but all tan highlights were eliminated. This change was done at the insistence of new head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who wanted to return the team to the successful traditions of the 1980s. Normally, it takes a minimum of 1–2 years to create, design and approve a uniform change. When Nike, the team's uniform supplier, said that they could not possibly make the change in just five months, former head coach and BYU legend LaVell Edwards made a call to Nike and asked them to help the new Cougar coach. Edwards had worked with Nike on several occasions since his retirement, and with the legendary coach's weight behind the request, BYU was able to take the field in 2005 in new, traditional uniforms.[22] One slight change in the uniform came in the 2007 season, when a small traditional 'Y' logo was added to the bottom of the collar.

In 2009 BYU used a "throwback" jersey paying tribute to the 25-year anniversary of the 1984 National Championship. They were the same design as the current jerseys but royal blue instead of navy blue. They were introduced against rival University of Utah and again in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon State. BYU also introduced new "black-out" jerseys in the 2012 season, debuting at home, also against Oregon State.


As of 2008, 146 BYU Cougars football players have gone on to play professional football. Team alumni have competed in 48 NFL Super Bowls,[23] including Super Bowl MVP Steve Young and two-time Super Bowl winner Jim McMahon.


BYU's football program has two historic rivalries: one with the Utah Utes in a game referred to as "The Holy War", and another with the Utah State Aggies in "The Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel". BYU also competes with Utah, Utah State and Weber State for the Beehive Boot. An emerging rivalry resulting from recent and anticipated future consecutive competition is Boise State, who BYU plays every year from now until 2023.

Future schedules[edit]


Date Opponent Site Result
September 1 at Arizona Arizona StadiumTucson, Arizona    
September 8 Cal LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 15 at Wisconsin[24] Camp Randall StadiumMadison, Wisconsin    
September 22 McNeese State[25] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 29 at Washington[26] Husky StadiumSeattle, Washington    
October 5 Utah State LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
October 13 Hawaii LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
October 27 Northern Illinois LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 3 at Boise State[27] Albertsons StadiumBoise, Idaho    
November 10 at UMass[28] Gillette StadiumFoxborough, Massachusetts    
November 17 New Mexico State[29] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 24 at Utah Rice-Eccles StadiumSalt Lake City, Utah    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
August 29 Utah LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 7 at Tennessee Neyland StadiumKnoxville, Tennessee    
September 14 USC LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 21 Washington[26] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 28 at Toledo[30] Glass BowlToledo, Ohio    
October 4 at Utah State Romney StadiumLogan, Utah    
October 12 Boise State[27] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 9 Liberty LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 16 Idaho State LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 23 at UMass[28] Gillette StadiumFoxborough, Massachusetts    
November 30 at San Diego State[25] Qualcomm StadiumSan Diego, California    
TBA at Washington State[31] Martin StadiumPullman, Washington    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 12 Michigan State[32] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 19 at Arizona State Sun Devil StadiumTempe, Arizona    
October 2 Utah State LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
October 17 at Boise State[27] Albertsons StadiumBoise, Idaho    
October 27 at Northern Illinois Huskie StadiumDekalb, Illinois    
November 7 Missouri LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 14 San Diego State[25] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 28 at Stanford[33] Stanford StadiumStanford, California    
TBA at Minnesota TCF Bank StadiumMinneapolis, Minnesota    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 4 vs. Arizona Las Vegas, Nevada    
September 11 Utah LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 18 Arizona State LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
September 25 at USF Raymond James StadiumTampa, Florida    
October 9 Boise State[27] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 27 at USC Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles    
TBA at Baylor McLane StadiumWaco, Texas    
TBA Virginia LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 3 at Utah Rice-Eccles StadiumSalt Lake City, Utah    
September 23 USF LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
October 8 at Boise State[27] Albertsons StadiumBoise, Idaho    
October 22 at Liberty Williams StadiumLynchburg, Virginia    
November 26 at Stanford Stanford StadiumStanford, California    
TBA Baylor LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 2 Stanford LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
October 14 Boise State[27] LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
November 25 at USC Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles    
September 7 at Virginia Scott StadiumCharlottesville, Virginia    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 13 UCLA LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
TBA Virginia LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
TBA Minnesota LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 12 Arizona LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.


Date Opponent Site Result
September 11 at Arizona Arizona StadiumTucson, Arizona    
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game.

Additional Information[edit]

BYU and Notre Dame announced an additional four games to be played between 2014–2020 in both Provo and South Bend.[34] Notre Dame later announced, though, that due to its scheduling alliance with the ACC it no longer planned to honor the remainder of the agreement with BYU. The Irish played two games of the deal (both at home) but exercised the escape clause in the contract for the other four, including two scheduled for Provo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Colors–Identity Guidelines–Athletics". Brigham Young University. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ "First Brigham Young Academy football team, 1896". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Second Brigham Young Academy football team, 1897". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ "BY High School football team, 1920". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Football game with Montana University, 1925". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lloyd, Jared (July 29, 2013). "BYU Classic Football Face-off Semifinals: BYU/SMU (1980) vs. BYU/Pitt 1984". The Daily Herald. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Minium, Harry. "Minium: Don't count on a 'Group of 5' national football championship". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2017-01-04. 
  8. ^ Jorgensen, Loren (January 2, 1997). "1996 Cotton Bowl: BYU 19, Kansas State 15". Deseret News. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  9. ^ Beck, Stephenson (November 19, 2000). "Cougar Stadium renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium". The Daily Universe. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  10. ^ Robinson, Doug (December 20, 2000). "Crowton learning Y. rules quickly". Deseret News. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Reynolds, Jeff (December 1, 2004). "Crowton Resigns as Football Coach". BYU Cougars. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ Aiken, Kathy; Penrod, Sam (December 1, 2004). "BYU Football Coach Gary Crowton Steps Down". KSL-TV. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ Call, Jeff (February 1, 2011). "BYU football: Ben Cahoon hired as wide receivers coach". Deseret News. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ Hemsley, Landon (May 2, 2013). "Jim McMahon, the brash quarterback and Ziggy Ansah, the humble defensive end". Deseret News. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ McMurphy, Brett (March 19, 2015). "SEC OKs independents for quota". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ McGuire, Kevin (July 31, 2015). "New Big Ten scheduling mandates Power 5 opponents, no FCS foes". College Football Talk. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  17. ^ Monson, Gordon (December 13, 2015). "Monson: Big 12 is doing BYU wrong". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  18. ^ Walker, Sean (December 4, 2015). "Bronco Mendenhall named head coach at Virginia". KSL-TV. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  19. ^ Cox, Kenny (December 19, 2015). "Kalani Sitake named head football coach at BYU". BYU Cougars. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  20. ^ "BYU Football All Americans". BYU. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  21. ^ Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation Archived 2007-09-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Reynolds, Jeff (August 5, 2008). "Traditional Uniforms Unveiled". BYU Cougars. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  23. ^ "BYU Football – In the Pros". BYU Athletics. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2008. 
  24. ^ "Wisconsin, BYU Announce Home-And-Home Series". Rant Sports. October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c "BYU Football announces games with San Diego State and McNeese State". SB Nation. 
  26. ^ a b "Washington announces home-and-homes with Michigan, BYU". Sports Illustrated. August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f "Boise State, BYU will play annually through 2023". The Sporting News. September 28, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Judd, Brandon (September 24, 2014). "BYU football: Cougars announce 4-game series with UMass". Deseret News. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  29. ^ "BYU Football Scheduling: New Mexico State announces game as 2018 schedule appears to be set". Vanquish the Foe. 
  30. ^ "Toledo and BYU Schedule 2016, 2019 Home-and-Home Series". FBSchedules. June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  31. ^ Drew, Jay (November 8, 2012). "Update: Washington State will host BYU football in 2019, replaces BYU with SUU in 2013". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Cougars announce football series with Michigan State". Deseret News. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  33. ^ "BYU football: Cougars add Stanford, Hawaii and Savannah State to future schedules". October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "BYU leaving MWC for 2011–12 season". ESPN. September 1, 2010. Archived from the original on September 3, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]