Elwood Romney Athlete Profile

Elwood Romney

Elwood Romney
Roster Years: 1929-1933 Hall of Fame: 1979

  • 1979 Men's Basketball 




All-America

  • 1930-31 Consensus Helms

1979 Hall of Fame Inductee

Elwood “Woody” Romney was the first BYU basketball player to score over 1,100 points during his career. An all-state basketball player at Dixie High School, Elwood was named to the Helms All-American team while at BYU in 1932.

He was named to the All-Conference team for three years. After graduating in 1933, Elwood played semi-professional ball with the Denver Athletic Club for three years.

While in Colorado, he became a prominent coach at the Colorado School of Mines and Western State College. He was also the organizer of the Western League, Class C baseball, and became president of the league. He owned the Denver Bears franchise.

In 1970 Woody was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame by the Old Time Athletes Association. In 1972 he was inducted into the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame. He died August 24, 1970. Elwood married Ruth Hafen in 1928, and they had one son and two daughters

Personal

  • Married Ruth Hafen and they had two sons and two daughters

Cougar Club Hall of Fame profile

Career Highlights

  • Became BYU basketball's first consensus All-American
  • Became the first BYU basketball player to score over 1,100 points during his career
  • Named to the Helms All-American team
  • Finished his career with 1,150 points
  • A three-time all-conference performer 

Before BYU

  • Was an all-state basketball player at Dixie High School

After BYU

  • Played semi-professional ball with the Denver Athletic Club for three years 
  • Was the organizer and president of the Western League, Class C baseball 
  • Coached at the Colorado School of Mines and Western State College
  • Owned the Denver Bears franchise

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame by the Old Time Athletes Association in 1970 
  • Inducted into the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame in 1972
  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1979


1930-1931 | Sophomore Year

  • Named a consensus All-American by Helms
  • Named to College Humor All-America Third Team
  • Earned Rocky Mountain all-conference honors

1931-1932 | Junior Year

  • A Helms first-team All-American
  • Earned Rocky Mountain all-conference honors

1932-1933 | Senior Year

PROVO, March 24, 1933--Destiny, waiting for the final curtain, stepped form the wings and handed the prince his coronet. In the last and dramatic moment in Intermountain basketball's 20 years of colorful history, the walleyed goddess, known as Fickle Mistress Fate, decided that a champion was not to close his glamorous career without his diadem of acclaim and glory.

So, after waiting through most of the season because of an injury, Elwood Romney, bowed himself out of intercollegiate competition, still an All-American on the court and an All-American in the hearts of the thousands who have seen the diamond sharp-shooter from Utah's Dixie through eight brilliant years of scholastic and collegiate basketball.

For it was Romney the old Romney of last year and the years before who refused to be stampeded on an 11-point lead, with only five minutes to go in the Brigham Young-Wyoming Titular game Saturday night in the small Women’s Gym at Provo. The cagey Cougars won on the edge of a split second, 41 to 39, after all hope had been abandoned, except in the hearts of five fighting basketballers in Bleu and White uniforms, who calmly and coolly by-passed the defeat that seemed inevitable.

It was something beyond all belief, beyond all imagining! The crashing echoes of this miraculous victory are still ringing from snow-capped Timpanogos Peak across Utah Valley and out through the canyons to all the skyline region where basketball is king.

That last vive minutes left the onlookers limp and bedraggled. Wyoming had out-passed, out-shot, and out-maneuvered the Y-men at every exchange. With the score 35 to 23, for the Cowboys, time began to run out for BYU. Then Suddenly, like a blast from a hidden explosive, the Cougars cut loose with a rally which closed the yawning gap like the jaws of a giant steam-shovel.

It was Romney, the indomitable, who stood out there as calmly as if he were tossing clubs at rosy apples in his native Dixie orchards. His mates rustled as Elwood swished, one basket, then another, and then another. From three different angles he pitched ringers, right-handed, left-handed, and two-handed. Here Coach Ott Romney, pulled the tired Floyd Millet, the league’s leading scorer, and sent in Joe Johnson, the ball rustling ranger from Murray. Johnson heralded his appearance by dunking an under-basket toss. It was 5-31. McOmber, the big center thereupon caught the spirit of the occasion and netted a pretty shot from a remote corner. Score 35-33. The place was a panic. Jay Whitman, hustling guard, stole the ball from Haskill Leuty, all-conference center, back-flipped the ball to Romney who found the Wyoming defense formed smack in front of him. With an herculean effort, born of desperation, Romney let go a jump-shot and the ball, as if charmed, dropped through the net. It was all tied up now, and the Romneys had made 12 points since the Cowboys made any at all.

Three quarters of a minute still separated the Cougars from the championship. The din was deafening. Men and women, leaped and shouted, and young women screamed and wept hysterically. Here again it was Whitman and Romney who arose to the occasion like two eagles over a flock of chattering sparrows. Whitman pulled the ball off the boards as the flashy Les Witte, all conference forward, overshot from the side. Whitman reeled and relayed the ball to Romney, standing a little closer than center circle. Romney had let go fast, also accurately, and it was a precious two points for the “Y.” The Cougars were ahead now for the first time in the game.

Leuty got that one back on a great ball-rustling play by Haman, the rugged guard. It was 37-37. Swartz seemed to have put the game on ice with a highly-arched toss from far out. There were only seconds left to play. Swartz got through for a lay-up, but the ball rolled around the rim and out, and hearts all but stopped beating. Whitman, ball hog of the evening, had his chance at the heroics and made good on a neat one-hander from the foul line. Score 39-39. The ball was in play only seconds when LeSueur, who had held the great Leuty to four goals, went after a loose ball, clutching simultaneously and desperately with Haman. The ball bounced into the air and Nelson, BYU reserve center, came down with it. With a single sweep he flipped it to Romney, and it was too bad for the Cowboys. For Romney was hotter than a firecracker. Pivoting free of two Wyoming defenders, he let go a two-handed push shot which barely edged over the rim and into the net as the gun barked out its climactic staccato and BYU was champ!

What a game! What a team! What a player! All-American indeed!

--by Les Goates, Salt Lake City sportswriter