Ty Detmer showed he remains the likeable Cougar as he joined four others last weekend at the inductions ceremonies for the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Detmer, now living in Austin, Texas, joined trainer Earlene Durrant, sports publicist Dave Schulthess, volleyball All-American Sari Virtanen Stevens, and baseball All-American Michael Willes as the 24th class inducted to the hall since its beginning in 1975.
"I knew I had a chance when Robbie Bosco got in," said Detmer of his former coach who was the last quarterback inducted in 1995. Other former BYU quarterbacks who have been inducted into the hall include Steve Young (1994), Gifford Nielsen (1987) and Virgil Carter (1977).
The 1990 Heisman Trophy winner was presented for induction by Coach LaVell Edwards days before Detmer reported to the Cleveland Browns' training camp to prepare for the pre-season opener against his quarterback brother, Koy, of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Detmer's most memorable BYU game was against Miami in 1990, according to Edwards, who termed it as one of the huge victories in his coaching career. Miami came into Cougar Stadium ranked No. 1 in the country, when Detmer and company upset the Hurricanes, 28-21.
Edwards told those in attendance that the accomplishments of Ty, whom he once thought of as a Pee Wee Herman-size recruit, weren't what impressed him.
"He is one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever known."
Detmer, who set 58 NCAA records, pleaded to set the record straight with Edwards.
"You underestimated me, I weighed only 160 pounds," said Detmer to the delight of the crowd.
"Coach Edwards talks about me coaching some day in the NFL. I think I like the college level better after eight years of pro football. Don't get me wrong, I'm not done playing yet. I'd like to play another five years."
Willes, who set a prep passing record in Southern California, joked with Edwards before the crowd as to why he hadn't recruited him instead of Ty since Willes weighed 175 pounds. Willes was also presented for induction by his former coach, Gary Pullins, who crooned his sluggers accomplishments to the delight of the crowd.
Willes, now an orthodontist who led the nation twice in home runs as a Cougar, told the gathering that his mother taught him the most important lesson in life.
As a 12-year-old Willes was in uniform on his way to a baseball game when she pulled him aside.
"It seems like you haven't been having much fun," Willes said his mother told him. "Today, just relax and go have some fun."
Similarly, Virtanen Stevens followed the fun route. Her coach and hall presenter Elaine Michaelis told of recruiting her teammate Maikki Salmi who described the fellow Finnish player as having a swing that could make the ball go "boom."
Because of players like Detmer, Willes and Virtanen Stevens, Schulthess told the gathering there was not a Monday morning when he wasn't anxious to go to work.
Described as a walking encyclopedia by his presenter Val Hale, men's athletic director, Schulthess kidded that his memory is now down to 14 pages. The veteran publicist cautioned the audience that they couldn't appreciate the present unless they were familiar with the past.
"You cannot let your mood be determined by wins and losses," said Schulthess.
Durrant, who prepared athletes for wins and losses, pointed out that she was one of the original five female trainers in the country.