Alumni Weekend

Sep 23, 2013 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell on September 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Updated: September 25, 2013 1:33 pm

The 12th annual baseball golf tournament was a successful event played at TalonsCove Golf Course on September 20.

LITTLEWOOD RETURNS TO ST. GEORGE: The previous weekend BYU coach Mike Littlewood and his wife Dani pinch-hit for BYU basketball coach Dave Rose, recuperating from cancer treatment, and his wife Cheryl as the convocation speakers for Dixie State University. Among Coach Littlewood’s remarks at that convocation were: “You can be whatever you want to be. Enjoy it while it lasts, it won’t last forever. Find your passion and pursue it with vigor. Don’t let society define your success.”

COUGARS RETURN TO ST. GEORGE: Last March BYU baseball moved its home opening games vs. Creighton to St. George because of weather. BYU just completed an agreement with Seattle University to move the 2014 home opener from Provo to St. George on Feb. 27, 28 and March 1.

TUCKETT’S CONNECTIONS: Former BYU coach and athletic director Glen Tuckett “presided” and played in the golf tournament with two of his former players Jeff Bills and former Major Leaguer Dane Iorg. Iorg’s son Seth and nephew Isaac, also former Cougars, played in that tourney, as did Mark Hildebrand, who was recruited by Coach Tuckett in the 1970s. Hildebrand used to manage the AAA Franklin Quest Field for the Larry H. Miller group and now is the director for the 8,000-seat UCCU Events Center at Utah Valley University.

UTAH VALLEY GREEN: There were several Utah Valley University connections on the greens in addition to Hildebrand. Among them were former Cougar infielder Nate Mathis, who is now the Assistant AD - Corporate Partners & Marketing at UVU; BYU senior associate AD Brian Santiago, UVU transfers Seth King, Todd Newman, Tyler Perry, Ben Saylor, Craig Smith, Glen Spencer, Wade Vest, and Bill Hoops, current BYU athletic marketing coordinator. Another Wolverine playing in the tourney was former Major Leaguer Mitch Jones.

SLICK BLUE: Former Cougar D.G. Nelson, the current head coach for the Bruins, represented Salt Lake Community College. D.G.’s uncle Kim Nelson, a former Cougar All-American, played in the tourney. Among the SLCC transfers to BYU who played in the golf tourney were Ryan Bernal and Rusty Gray.

ANNOYING RED: One brave golfer came dressed in all red Utah attire, but it wasn’t former Cougar pitcher Brett McDermaid who transferred to Utah from BYU. McDermaid played the TalonsCove course with former Cougar pitchers Matt Rex, Craig Smith and Marc Kenner. The man dressed in red has the last name of Gray, a relative playing in the Rusty Gray foursome.

FOOTBALL TIE: Former college football player, Derek Shutt, who was a tight end at UC Davis, played in the foursome with his brother Justin, a former Cougar reliever.

FINANCIAL GURUS: Several former BYU baseball players who played in the golf tourney now have careers in the financial industry. Among those are Oxford-educated former relief pitcher Josh Barrett and former pitcher Michel Bergeron who played with his father who had traveled from Ontario, Canada. Another former Cougar pitcher J.D. Stambaugh traveled quite a ways from Memphis, Tenn., where he is a financial adviser for Duncan-Williams, Inc. Another financial connection playing in the tourney was former BYU second baseman Dane Nielsen who now works in Phoenix for Odyssey Capital Group. Nielsen played in the foursome with BYU baseball radio announcer Brent Norton.

WINNERS: The foursome led by BYU assistant men’s golf coach Todd Miller won the tourney. Also in that foursome were Bernal, Alex Wolfe and Keith Nellesen. A post-tournament award was also given to former BYU second baseman Cameron Coughlan who came dressed in old-time duffer attire.

THE SCORE: The alumni game pitted former Cougars against each other, divided by even and odd years when they played at BYU. The score was 11-6 in favor of the even-year graduates. Among the highlights were Mark Anderson still throwing in the 90s, Jake Stubblefield hitting a home run over the scoreboard off Jeff Stone (see his swing in the accompanying photos) and current pitching coach Jeremy Thomas touching 85 mph in the ninth inning.