Tom Bell Athlete Profile

#66 Tom Bell

Tom Bell
Position: Offensive Guard Height: 6-3 Weight: 234 Roster Years: 1973-1974 | 1978-1979 Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD Mission: Indonesia Hall of Fame: 1996 Last School: Gaithersburg High School

1996 Hall of Fame Inductee

BYU offensive lineman Tom Bell played in the Cougars' first undefeated regular season and helped BYU reach the Fiesta Bowl and two Holiday Bowls.

Bell, from Gaithersburg, Maryland, brought honor to the university by winning the 34th annual Nels V. "Swede" Nelson award for sportmanship in 1979. He was only the fourth athlete from west of the Mississippi ever to receive this national award, annually given by the Gridiron Club of Boston.

A two-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection, Bell was also named to the Churchmen's All-America team and won honorable mention Associated Press All-American honors. He demonstrated his ability and versatility by winning First-Team All-WAC honors two years in a row - at the guard position as a junior and at the tackle postiion as a senior. Eight times Tom was selected by the BYU coaches as the team's lineman of the game.

As a team captain, Tom helped BYU to an undefeated regular season in 1979 and national rankings as high as ninth. That season began with the Cougars beating Texas A & M in Houston. The Cougars ended the year 11-1, ranked 12th in the country after leading the nation in passing, scoring, and total offense.

It is not surprising that Tom Bell has become an important figure in BYU's fabled football tradition. He played in BYU's first bowl game - the 1974 Fiesta Bowl - and provided pass protection for storied quarterbacks Gary Sheide, Gifford Nielsen, Jim McMahon, and Marc Wilson. Besides, Cougar Blue just happens to run in the family. The first stop Tom and the coaches made when he came on his recruiting trip to BYU was in West Jordan, Utah, where they visited Tom's 86-year-old grandfather, Wilford Egbert, who played baseball and basketball for BYU in 1903.

Tom interrupted his college football career to serve an LDS mission to Indonesia from 1976 to 1978, returning just in time to lead the Cougars against Navy, one of the teams that had heavily recruited Tom after his high school team won two state championships.

After competing at BYU, he played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Japan Bowl; he also had a brief stint with the Green Bay Packers.

Tom's career as a U.S. State Department foreign service officer has enabled him to serve his country in Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore - locations where has also served the LDS Church as a branch president and as a member of bishoprics and mission presidencies. Tom's ability to speak four languages has helped him to make friends and touch lives around the world.

Personal

  • B.S. in business from BYU with a minor in Asian Studies
  • Speaks four languages
  • Served an LDS church mission to Indonesia
  • Married to Rosemary Jensen 

Career Highlights

  • Played in BYU's first bowl game in the Fiest Bowl of 1974
  • Named to the Churchmen’s All-America team 1979
  • Won honorable mention Associated Press All-American honors 1979
  • First Team All-WAC selection at the guard position 1978
  • First Team All-WAC selection at the tackle position 1979
  • Helped the team to an undefeated regular season and national rankings as high as ninth his senior year
  • The team led the nation in passing, scoring and total offense his senior year

Before BYU

  • Was all-Metro Washington, D.C., all-Maryland, all-county and all-league in football for Gaithersburg High
  • Coached by John Marvill (Maryland)
  • Participated in freestyle wrestling and lettered three times

After BYU

  • Played in the East-West Shrine Game and the Japan Bowl
  • Had a brief stint with the Green Bay Packers
  • Worked as a U.S. State Department foreign service officer in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1996

1973 | Freshman Year

  • Consistent performer as a freshman

1974 | Sophomore Year

  • Started for most of his sophomore year
  • Played in BYU's first ever bowl game at the Fiesta Bowl

1978 | Junior Year

  • Started every varsity game, even filling in at tackle
  • All-WAC first team at the guard position
  • Coaches player-of-the-game for Arizona State, Wyoming and New Mexico games
  • TV announcer Paul Dietzel at the Holiday Bowl had high praise for Bell's play

1979 | Senior Year

  • Named to the Churchmen’s All-America team
  • Won honorable mention Associated Press All-American honors
  • First Team All-WAC selection at the tackle position
  • Helped the team to an undefeated regular season and national rankings as high as ninth
  • Won the 34th annual Nels V. “Swede” Nelson award for sportsmanship and was only the fourth athlete from west of the Mississippi to receive the national award
  • Was selected eight times in his career as the team’s lineman of the game by the BYU coaches