BYU Athletic Director, Tom Holmoe, Talks BYU Sports
Contributed By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
- BYU athletic director, Tom Holmoe, spoke about BYU sports in a 50-minute session at BYU Education Week.
- Brother Holmoe named Jennifer Hamson, who has played both basketball and volleyball at BYU, as the number one athlete to watch.
“The only way for us to be successful is to do it our way,” said BYU athletic director, Tom Holmoe, during a single 50-minute session at the 2014 BYU Campus Education Week. When we do things aligned with the Church and university, we succeed. When we do things not aligned with our mission, we fail.”
Beginning the session with a presentation on the top ten BYU athletes to watch in 2014–15, Brother Holmoe named Jennifer Hamson as the number one athlete to watch. She has played both volleyball and basketball at BYU and maintains a 3.6 GPA. She is six feet seven inches tall and was drafted by the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks this year even though the team knows she is returning to play volleyball for BYU. “Once in a blue moon you see someone that spectacular,” said Brother Holmoe.
With the remainder of the time in the session, Brother Holmoe took questions from the audience. In response to a question about the BYU-Utah rivalry, he said, “We have a good relationship with the U of U. They made a move to move away from us. I wouldn’t have done it, but they did. But we’ll make it work.”
Another question was asked about the strength of BYU’s relationship with ESPN because of the 8-5 record last year. Brother Holmoe said, “We have a fantastic relationship with ESPN. We couldn’t schedule without them; it’s a give and take relationship. They’re not going anywhere and neither are we.”
Addressing the possibility of BYU participating in a Power 5 football conference, Brother Holmoe said, “BYU is a different place. We are not currently in a conference; we are independent.” There are about 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences, with 25 to 30 knowing what they’re doing. About half of them don’t know what they’re going to do. There are a number of great teams in the Power 5 conferences and a number of not so good teams. Eventually there will be a separation. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, said Brother Holmoe.
A growing concern for BYU is the lack of attendance by students at home games, said Brother Holmoe. Keeping the student population engaged is difficult. Students don’t want to come to LaVell Edwards Stadium or the Marriott Center because there is no Wi-Fi Internet access. Some universities such as the University of Alabama boast student attendance rates of 69 percent.
Balancing family life with his job is important. “I don’t do a lot of golfing or sailing,” said Brother Holmoe. “I have the Church, family, and work. I’ve got the best job in the world. Kids come to visit me in my office and I get to talk to them. I get to see some things people don’t see, and those are some of the best parts of having this job.
“I hope that the BYU athletes will inspire the younger generation so they too will dream about coming to play at BYU,” said Brother Holmoe.