Team Devotionals Highlight BYU Football Season

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 11 September 2015

Local Church members and friends gather for a BYU football team devotional in Orlando, Florida.   Photo by Vernon Paul Williams.

Article Highlights

  • BYU football coaches and players host devotionals the day before road games.
  • Both Church and community members are invited to hear spiritual messages and music from the athletes.

“Football is simply the vehicle we use to help others come to a knowledge of what really brings joy and happiness to our lives.” —Bronco Mendenhall, BYU football head coach

This fall, Brigham Young University’s football team will play in some of the most storied stadiums in the country—including the Rose Bowl, Michigan Stadium, and Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. The Cougars’ season began on the road September 5 against a celebrated program, the University of Nebraska, but on the eve of that anticipated contest, many of the Cougar players and coaches swapped their game-day gear for suit coats and ties.

Football devotionals on the day before road games have become a BYU tradition. The team began hosting them a decade ago. The players and coaches take a few hours away from film study and game preparation to focus on matters eternal. Local members and their neighbors and friends are invited to the free events to hear spiritual thoughts and gospel music from athletes they typically see competing inside sports stadiums.

“The [devotionals] have been a way for us to make a very clear statement of what our priorities are, or should be,” Coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a BYU statement. “Football is simply the vehicle we use to help others come to a knowledge of what really brings joy and happiness to our lives.”

The devotionals are also fun opportunities for alums, fans, and members who live far from Provo, Utah, to interact with the team. At each event, coaches and players answer questions from the audience, and there’s usually time afterward for photos.

The Cougars will host meetings on the evenings before road games against UCLA, Michigan, San Jose State, and Missouri. The team will also hold a devotional in Provo on the day before the October 9 homecoming game against East Carolina.

Go to byucougars.com for further details on the 2015 devotional schedule.