The BYU Varsity Club Executive Board announces the selection of Lu Wallace as its 2003 recipient of the Foundation of Excellence Award. Through 39 years of service to the University, Lu Wallace demonstrated a quiet efficiency and unwavering determination to improve athletic opportunities for women athletes.
Wallace came to BYU as a physical education teacher in 1956 and continued to teach a wide variety of classes through the early 1980's. She coached the women's gymnastics team from 1963-1976, leading it to conference titles in 1970 and 1972.
Administrator of women's athletics from 1972 through 1995, Wallace became the chief architect for building BYU's sports program into national prominence. She developed and administered the emerging BYU program with discernment, integrity and humor.
During her administration, BYU dominated the Intermountain Athletic Conference, the High Country Athletic Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference. Each of the nine sports under her supervision placed in the top-15 in the nation at least once --- with several of those making top-10 and top-5 lists. Coaches received national, regional, and league honors; over 100 athletes were named to both athletic and academic All-America teams and received national academic awards and scholarships; and eight athletes have won national individual titles during her administration.
These accomplishments did not go unnoticed or unappreciated by her peers and Wallace earned many accolades herself. In 1965, she received the Service Award from UAHPER and was named Teacher of the Month by the Physical Education Major Club in 1976. Twenty-five years of volunteer service to the Red Cross netted her a commemorative pin in 1980 and she was chosen to light the "Y" in 1986. In 1994, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Utah Summer Games.
In the Spring of 1995, she earned her most prestigious honor. Just after announcing her retirement from BYU, she was named the recipient of the Dale Rex Award as the person contributing most to amateur athletics in Utah. Later that same year, she was inducted into the Utah Network for Girls and Women in Sport Hall of Fame and was named the District IV Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. Lu was also inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1998.
A native of Idaho, where she grew up on a farm, Lu Wallace received a B.S. degree from Utah State, and M.S. degree from Washington State, and has done post-graduate work at the University of Nevada. She retired as a Full Athletic Professional at BYU in1995.
The Varsity Club Executive Board announces Pete Witbeck as its 2003 recipient of the Foundation of Excellence Award. During his 47 years at BYU, Pete served as senior associate athletic director and former Cougar basketball assistant coach. At the time of his retirement, he was serving as the university NCAA compliance officer, working to ensure that the BYU athletic program observed the numerous rules legislated by collegiate athletic's governing body and serving as the university's point man with the association.
After earning a bachelor's and master's degree from BYU, Witbeck joined the BYU physical education faculty in 1954. Three years later, he became the university's first freshmen basketball coach, and over his next six-year tenure his teams went 62-9. He has worked under five university presidents beginning with Ernest L. Wilkinson.
In 1962, Stan Watts elevated him to assistant head coach and gave him responsibility for game planning and coordinating the offense, in addition to his continued role in charge of recruiting.
In addition to his role as coach, recruiter and compliance officer, Witbeck participated in scheduling for football and men's basketball, helping to bring such high profile programs as Miami, Penn State and Notre Dame to Provo. Witbeck also served as the game manager for football and men's basketball, a crucial behind-the-scenes function that required arranging logistics for visiting teams and officials and handling whatever minor problems arose during contests. As game manager, Witbeck has attended every BYU home football and men's basketball game since 1972.
In 1964,Witbeck won the Dale Rex Memorial trophy, awarded to the person who has contributed the most to amateur sports in Utah. He was later inducted into BYU's Hall of Fame for his contributions as assistant coach to Stan Watts on the BYU basketball team that won the 1966 NIT tournament, which was recognized as college basketball's national championship.
Fred Skousen, vice-president for Advancement at Brigham Young University said, "Pete has been a right-hand man for five athletic directors over nearly a half century. He's made countless admirable contributions to the progress of the BYU athletic program from a little known Rocky Mountain school to a national power that won conference titles in 16 of 19 Mountain West sports in which BYU competed."