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Hill, Olsen, Van Noy, Hoffman and Williams join True Blue for Media Day special

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Jamie Morris at 12:10 pm | Permalink

Quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Ammon Olsen first joined Dave McCann in the BYUtv studio to discuss injury reports and player outlooks. Both claim to be 100 percent for the upcoming season after receiving knee injuries during the 2012 season and offseason.
Hill feels that he needs to continue to showcase his running talents and hopes that all of the hard work in the offseason will pay off as they face Virginia in the season opener Aug. 31. Olsen credits the strength of his defense for preparing him and says the whole team is working hard to get ready for a successful season.
Both feel that Skyler Ridley and Mitch Matthews will make a big impact on the receiving end of the field and will also hand off to some stable running backs in veteran Michael Alisa and sophomore Jamaal Williams.
The BYU defense ranked in the top five in five national defensive categories at the end of the 2012 season and will look to replace a few key players this season. Defensive players Craig Bills and Bronson Kaufusi met with McCann to discuss the team defense.
Kaufusi credited basketball for keeping him in shape during the offseason, and Bills said the whole football team was excited to see him on the basketball court. In answer to a fan question, Kaufusi said that there is definitely more pressure and focus under the lights of the Marriott Center as opposed to being hidden under his helmet at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Running backs Alisa and Williams appeared next with McCann. Alisa, who is coming back from a season-ending arm injury last year, said that the experience humbled him and made him more grateful than ever to be a BYU football player.  Both guys are looking forward to a new offensive set up and a revamped offensive line.  
McCann took a break from interviewing players to discuss the team’s bowl bid for 2013 which will feature BYU vs. a Pac-12 team on Dec. 27 on ESPN in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Pre-season All-Americans Cody Hoffman and Kyle Van Noy joined McCann to wrap up player interviews. Hoffman updated the viewers on his shoulder surgery and rehab, saying that he’s been able to recover and hopes to be at full strength before the start of the season. Hoffman is close to breaking Austin Collie’s records in career receptions, career receiving yards and career receiving touchdowns.
Van Noy will return for his senior year and knows that every opponent they face will be working hard to beat them. He says the team needs to look at the bigger picture and wake up every day with the mentality to go forward and improve.
BYU football analyst Blaine Fowler joined McCann to close out the show and look at the season prospects.
Stay tuned on BYUtv for more Media Day football shows and check the Media Day Central page for more information.  

BYU Football Media Day—Q&A with coach Paul Tidwell

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by McKay Perry at 12:02 pm | Permalink
What was coach Mendenhall referring to about the snacks and music?
We very seldom meet as a defensive staff where there’s not music playing.  Usually a mix of old-time classic rock-and-roll.  A little Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  I also like some reggae music and island music. As far as the food snacks, it’s usually sunflower seeds and peanuts. 
Who is the toughest coach on the defensive staff?
On the field coaching--probably Coach Howell.  I think he probably works his guys a little harder than all of us.  As far as toughest, I can take any of them. Put me in a room with any of them—just kidding.
What are you looking forward to most about this season?
Just watching our kids perform.  It’s so fun to work with them week in and week out.  I think back on last season and games like the Boise State game, San Diego State in the bowl game, the Georgia Tech game—those games where we just executed so well and kept opponents from scoring touchdowns, and just watching your kids perform is what we look forward to. 
Who’s poised for a break-out year?
I would say Uani Unga.  He played quite a bit last year behind Uona Kaveinga.  He got some good reps and playing experience.  A lot of people don’t know who he is yet on a wide basis.  I feel like he’s going to be one of those guys that will break out and have a great year.

Quotes from BYU football's State of the Program

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by at 11:25 am | Updated: June 26, 2013 11:58 am | Permalink

Bronco Mendenhall

On the 2013 season: "I do know this program can achieve more. I am very confident in what's already been done and proud of what's been done, but I want more. The players want more."
On graduated players: "We talk about players that we've lost, for eight years we've been in the top 25 defensively every year, and so it is just the next version. We don't know yet who all the names and faces will be, but we do know the outcome."
On contract extension: "I didn't see myself being a long-time college football coach. I was pretty overwhelmed with what the pace was and the pressures. However, I like it."

Trevor Matich

On the 2013 BYU team: "I expect them to be one of the most exciting teams in the country. I expect them to be relevant nationally because of the way the schedule shakes out."

BYU football's three big announcements:

First Announcement
Tom Holmoe: "One of the things we're looking forward to in the future is playing big-time teams, and we've been able to ink an agreement with the University of Southern California. We'll play three games with them, twice down in L.A. We'll start the series off in Provo."

Second Announcement

Tom Holmoe: "We're going to be back in San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl [in 2015]. A lot of the traditions of BYU Football started in San Diego, and it was great for us to go back last year."

3rd Announcement:
Tom Holmoe: "We've agreed to terms on a new contract that would take [Bronco Mendenhall] through the 2016 season. It's important for me, as the athletic director, but I think more importantly our football program, fans, our university, our student-athletes, our future football players that this great football program continues."

BYU football’s State of the Program kicks off Media Day on BYUtv

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Jamie Morris at 11:14 am | Updated: June 26, 2013 11:56 am | Permalink
Head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, ESPN analyst and former BYU football player Trevor Matich and managing director of broadcasting Derek Marquis joined studio host Dave McCann to assess the upcoming season.  BYU’s offensive and defensive coaching staff also took part in the broadcast.
Mendenhall and Holmoe talked with McCann to start the show and made three big BYU football announcements including the addition of a new opponent series against USC, outlooks for a future bowl game and an extension of Mendenhall’s coaching contract.
The new series against USC will start in 2019 with a home game against the Trojans, followed by two games at USC in 2021 and 2023. BYU is in negotiation with the Mountain West Conference to play in the 2015 Poinsettia Bowl, with Mendenhall guaranteed to be at the helm after receiving a renewal of his contract through 2016.
Mendenhall joined McCann one on one after the commercial break and discussed spring practices, player statuses, a new offensive coaching staff and BYU’s defensive prospects for the year.
BYU’s defensive staff next came out to talk with Mendenhall and McCann and discussed how they will replace former players such as Ziggy Ansah and Brandon Ogletree and look to current players to fill those spots. Answers for the kicking game are on the way, while the staff hopes as a whole to produce more turnovers this upcoming season.
The new offensive staff was on tap next and each agreed that spring camp was a success and that the offensive players are starting to understand and adapt to the new coaching styles.
Matich and Marquis joined McCann to wrap up the show. Marquis announced the launch of a BYUtv Xbox 360 app as well as an Android app, and cited some progress in spreading BYUtv in HD to Dish and cable networks. The athletic department will also launch a daily national radio show dedicated to BYU sports on BYU Radio Sirius XM 143 starting in the fall.
The next broadcast will feature Coach LaVell Edwards and the BYU quarterback factory. Former BYU quarterbacks such as Ty Detmer, Robbie Bosco and Steve Young will join Edwards at 5 p.m. EDT on BYUtv.
For more information on broadcasts throughout the day, check out the schedule of events on the Media Day Central page.

Van Noy named to 2013 Athlon Sports' Preseason All-America First Team

Jun 25, 2013 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 9:22 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah (June 25, 2013) – BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy was named to the 2013 Athlon Sports’ Preseason All-America First Team on Tuesday.

A Lott Impact Trophy Watch List honoree, Van Noy also earned preseason honors on the Phil Steele All-America First Team.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior led BYU's No. 3 ranked defense with 13 sacks (tied for No. 2 nationally) and 22 tackles for loss (No. 4 nationally) in 2012. Van Noy also set the school record with six forced fumbles during the season (tied for No. 2 nationally).

He added 53 tackles, eight quarterback hurries, five pass breakups, two interceptions, two blocked kicks, one fumble recovery and scored two touchdowns on defense. Van Noy was the only player to record a statistic in every major defensive category for the second consecutive year.

Van Noy named to 2013 CFPA Defensive Awards Watch List

Jun 17, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 4:00 pm | Permalink

College Football Performance Awards announced BYU senior Kyle Van Noy as a member of its 2013 CFPA Defensive Awards Watch List this week.

Van Noy was the 2012 CFPA Linebacker Trophy winner and 2012 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year.

“Congratulations to CFPA winner Kyle Van Noy on earning a spot on the 2013 CFPA Defensive Awards Watch List,” said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. “Van Noy will play an important role for BYU in 2013.”

Van Noy is one of six featured CFPA winners on the cover of the 2013 CFPA Watch List along with Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina), AJ McCarron (Alabama), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Marqise Lee (USC) and Braxton Miller (Ohio State).

Two BYU Cougars have earned CFPA honors: Van Noy (LB) and current Baltimore Ravens star Dennis Pitta (TE), who won the 2009 CFPA Elite Tight End Trophy.

BYU's Cody Hoffman and Kaneakua Friel were previously named to the 2013 CFPA Offensive Awards Watch List.

All CFPA recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration. More than 130 CFPA recipients have signed professional contracts, and twenty-one have been first-round NFL Draft selections.

For more information on CFPA, visit the Official CFPA Website.

Hoffman and Friel earn spots on 2013 CFPA Offensive Awards Watch List

Jun 12, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 3:40 pm | Permalink

College Football Performance Awards announced Cody Hoffman and Kaneakua Friel as members of its 2013 CFPA Offensive Awards Watch List this week. Hoffman earned a spot on the 2013 CFPA Wide Receiver Trophy Watch list while Friel earned a spot on the 2013 CFPA Tight End Trophy Watch List.

“Congratulations to wide receiver Cody Hoffman and tight end Kaneakua Friel on earning spots on the 2013 CFPA Offensive Awards Watch List,” said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. “Hoffman and Friel give head coach Bronco Mendenhall’s passing offense strength for 2013.”

Hoffman, a Phil Steele Preseason All-American for 2013, was an All-America honorable mention last season. The senior led BYU in all receiving categories with 100 receptions, 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 100 receptions and 1,248 yards are both second most in a single season in school history.

Friel started all 13 games of 2012 and finished second on the team with five touchdown receptions. The senior was named the FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week and CFPA National Tight End of the Week for the week of Sept. 3.

Last season, BYU star Kyle Van Noy earned the 2012 CFPA Linebacker Trophy and 2012 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year Trophy. Former BYU tight end Dennis Pitta earned the 2009 CFPA Elite Tight End Trophy.

Returning linebacker Van Noy joins fellow CFPA winners Jadeveon Clowney, AJ McCarron, Johnny Manziel, Marqise Lee and Braxton Miller as one of six featured players on the cover of the 2013 CFPA Watch List.

All CFPA recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration. More than 130 CFPA recipients have signed professional contracts, and twenty-one have been first-round NFL Draft selections.

For more information on CFPA, visit the Official CFPA Website.

End of the year softball update

Jun 12, 2013 - Posted by Jamie Morris at 2:01 pm | Updated: June 12, 2013 2:06 pm | Permalink

Who We Played in the NCAA’s

The BYU softball team was defeated by No. 3 Oregon and No. 25 Wisconsin in the Eugene Regional. Oregon went on to the Super Regional and was upset at home by Nebraska, who made its first visit to the World Series since 2002. Tennessee was the only team in the eight-team series that BYU played during the season. BYU lost its matchup with the Vols 6-3 in its first preseason tournament of the year. Tennessee went on to play in its first Championship series since 2007. The Vols fell in two straight to the Oklahoma Sooners and have yet to claim an NCAA title.


Anna Hudson, a sophomore catcher, will leave July 17 to serve in the Utah Salt Lake City mission. She is the first active softball player to serve a mission since the program started in 2000.

“I decided that I wanted to serve a mission after the announcement of the age change,” said Hudson. “I always wanted to go but wasn’t sure when. After the announcement I felt like it was the right time to go. I’m super excited to share the gospel with lots of people. I’m also excited to be a part of something that isn’t purely for me, but is for others. “


Lacey Millett will join the two current married players on the team in Ashlee Robinson and Jenna Goar on August 24th as she ties the knot with former BYU swimmer Daniel Hofstedt. Lacey and Daniel will be getting married in the Sacramento temple.

Changing Conferences

After three years in three different conferences, the BYU softball team will finally make a home in the WCC for the 2014 season. It will join former PCSC foes Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, UVU and CSU Bakersfield. Pacific will also be joining the conference in its first year with a softball program. UVU and CSU Bakersfield will be affiliate members of the conference as both teams will lose a spot in the PCSC, which dissolved following the conclusion of this year’s season. The following is a look at the BYU softball history in conferences.

Overall/League                     Conference                            Titles               Member

371-160/117-39                  Mountain West                      Five                 2003-2011

45-15/15-4                          Western Athletic                    One                 2012

33-25/19-5                          Pacific Coast Softball            One                  2013

-                                          West Coast                             -                      2014

National Attention

Ashley Thompson, an incoming freshman for the 2014 season and Washington pitcher, is creating quite the national buzz for her performance this year. Thompson is already the holder of Washington’s record for home runs in a single season (23 in 2012) and career and also holds the state record in RBI. In addition, Thompson threw six-straight no-hitters during her senior season and had seven altogether. Both are believed to be state records and her streak of no-hitters ranks third all-time in the country. Thompson helped lead Connell High School to its third state championship, going a perfect 27-0 to end her high school career. 

June Baseball Blog

May 31, 2013 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 3:54 pm | Updated: June 7, 2013 1:17 pm | Permalink

TUCKETT AND PULLINS BILLBOARD: With the home season now over, advertising banners were pulled from the outfield wall of Larry H. Miller Field. However, the banner of Glen Tuckett and Gary Pullins remains visible. That banner was unveiled last month when their jerseys, No. 20 and No. 1, were retired.

FORMER PLAYERS AT TUCKETT-PULLINS EVENT: Among the former Cougars in attendance at last month’s jersey-retiring festivities during the San Francisco series were the following: Tim Anderson, Dick Belliston, Lee Berge, Bob Burch, Dick Clark, Tom Fife, Dane Iorg, Jim Kimmel, Dennis Lamb, Bob Noel and Mike Staffieri who along with Pullins played for Coach Tuckett; and Keith Harrison, Nate Hyde, Sean McNaughton, Kelly Shepherd and Coach Mike Littlewood who played for Coach Pullins.

UPSETTING NO. 13 ASU: What a fun atmosphere it was at Arizona State in BYU’s 8-3 upset over the No. 13 Sun Devils. Among the 2,957 spectators were 88 BYU fans through the sales efforts of Keaton Cenatiempo’s mother. Another Cougar in attendance that night in Tempe was former BYU baseball coach and athletic director Glen Tuckett who enjoyed the company of his former players Mike Elmer, Dennis Lamb and former Cougar cager Veryl Law. Tuckett also was in town for the high school graduation of one of his grandsons.

WIVES’ CAR POOL: While many of the Cougars were flying to Stockton, Calif., for last month’s West Coast Conference Baseball Tournament, several of the players’ wives carpooled, driving I-80 en route to California. The drivers/riders were Deidre Miller, Ali Whitney, Madison Dennis and Merilee Speigner. One wife who didn’t drive was Alexis Brugman because she is expecting a baby this September.

EARTHQUAKE DURING WCC OPENING GAME:  BYU joined San Diego, San Francisco and Gonzaga playing at Banner Island Ballpark, home to the Single A Stockton Ports. Among the Ports opponents are the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. However, there was a real earthquake mid-way through BYU’s opening Thursday game against San Diego, registering 5.7 on the Richter Scale at 8:47 p.m., 25 miles southwest of Susanville, Calif., just over 200 miles away from Stockton. While many did not feel the quake during the game, Jaycob Brugman recalled hearing a fan comment about it after his at bat.  Most BYU players were unaware of the quake until Saturday morning when they read about it in newspapers at the Sacramento Airport.

FLYING AROUND:  Returning home early from Stockton after being eliminated from the West Coast Conference Tournament was a challenge on Memorial Day weekend. No single flight could accommodate the BYU entourage of over 30 travelers, so coaches scrambled and divided the team into four groups. One group flew to Seattle, another to Portland, another to Las Vegas and another to Phoenix, all routing towards Salt Lake City where the Cougars boarded a bus to Provo and listened to Jacob Hannemann’s pre-recorded interview on KSL Radio. Another impressive airport drill happened earlier in the week as the team flew out of Phoenix to Sacramento. After leaving their Phoenix hotel in the wee hours of the morning, the bus driver parked at the wrong terminal where the Cougars had to quickly reload bags and get back on the bus for the right terminal.

SPECIAL GUEST AT BANNER ISLAND BALLPARK: Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, was in the stands at Banner Island Ballpark for part of Friday’s action at the WCC Tournament, watching San Diego’s All-American Kris Bryant with a keen eye.

FORMER BYU ATHLETE FROM STOCKTON: Among the former BYU athletes who are from Stockton, Calif., is Paul Mendenhall, father of current football coach Bronco Mendenhall and former Cougar gridder Matt Mendenhall.

COUGAR TWEET: Last week we Tweeted the following: BSB | We believe in vicarious work. Good luck San Diego, San Francisco, LSU & Arizona State this weekend.

HANNEMANN AND THE DRAFT: BYU freshman outfielder Jacob Hannemann flew the last week of May to workouts in Seattle, Chicago (Cubs), Oakland and Los Angeles (Dodgers) in preparation for the June 6-8 Major League Baseball Draft. He also took a train from Chicago to workout for the Milwaukee Brewers.

WEDDINGS: Less than a week after the season finished, junior designated hitter Bret Lopez got married to Taryn Roberts. Next to get married are first baseman Cody Shepherd on June 29 to Lindsey Horton and pitcher Jeff Barker on July 27 to Kylie Richmond.

MATTHEW NEIL: Former BYU pitcher Matthew Neil was called up to the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami) last month.

LITTLEWOOD’S VACATION: BYU coach Mike Littlewood is taking a few days of vacation to watch his son Marcus play for the Clinton LumberKings (Seattle).  The Cougar mentor will watch games in Illinois and Wisconsin.

KNEE SURGERY: Hayden Nielsen played through a knee injury the last several weeks of the season and will be having surgery this month. He should be ready to pursue baseball later in the summer.

AWAITING MISSION CALL: Freshman infielder Nate Favero is awaiting a mission call.

SUMMER PLAYING ASSIGNMENTS: Jeff Barker - Conejo Oaks, Kelton Caldwell - DC Grays, Jacob Hannemann (depending on draft) Orleans (Cape Cod League), Trace Hansen - Bisbee Ironman, Bryan Heward (SLCC Transfer) - Bisbee Ironmen, Andy Isom - Saskatoon Yellow Jackets, Adam Law (depending on draft) Holyoke Blue Sox and Chunner Nyberg - DC Grays.

PAST TOP 10 ROUND DRAFTS:  Here BYU's Top 10 round draft picks:

Name Draft (Pick), Team Year
Cory Snyder 1st (4), Cleveland Indians 1984
Brian Banks 2nd (43), Milwaukee Brewers 1993
Ryan Hancock 2nd (45), California Angels 1993
John Greene 3rd (42), Kansas City Athletics 1966
Rick Aguilera 3rd (58), New York Mets 1983
Wally Joyner 3rd (67), California Angels 1983
Jacob Hannemann 3rd (75), Chicago Cubs 2013
Dave Jensen 3rd (78), Kansas City Royals 2002
Paul Cluff 4th (87), California Angels 1989
Carl Keliipuleole 4th (99), Cleveland Indians 1987
Darin Kracl 4th (113), Oakland A’s 1989
Jack Morris 5th (98), Detroit Tigers 1976
Eric Varoz 5th (117), San Diego Padres 1984
Steve Parker 5th (153), Oakland A’s 2009
Matt Carson 5th (156), Oakland A’s 2002
Mike Staffieri 6th (127), Cincinnati Reds 1972
Scott Nielsen 6th (139), Seattle Mariners 1983
Steve Eagar 6th (156), Detroit Tigers 1984
Joey Whitmer 7th (164), Seattle Mariners 1982
Gary Cooper 7th (172), Houston Astros 1986
Stan Younger 7th (173), Detroit Tigers 1980
Doug Howard 8th (183), California Angels 1970
Cliff Pastornicky 8th (197) Kansas City Royals 1980
John DeSilva 8th (213), Detroit Tigers 1989
Kevin Foderaro 8th (222), St. Louis Cardinals 1994
Nik Lemon 8th (239), Chicago White Sox 2004
Dave Horlacher 8th (256), Los Angeles Dodgers 2005
Tom Morris 9th (220, Houston Astros 1979
Jared Jensen 9th (275), Oakland A's 1997
Ken Crosby 10th (227), New York Yankees 1969
Marc Thomas 10th (242), Houston Astros 1979
Jeremy Toole 10th (297), San Francisco Giants 2009
Leon Johnson 10th (307), Chicago Cubs 2007

Two Cougar Fan Fests scheduled for this week

May 21, 2013 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 12:45 pm | Updated: May 21, 2013 1:08 pm | Permalink

Athletes and coaches from BYU Athletics descended on St. George, Utah, Saturday for the first-ever Cougar Fan Fest. Two more Cougar Fan Fest events will be held in northern Utah tonight and tomorrow. The event in Spanish Fork begins at 6 p.m. MDT Tuesday at the Spanish Fork Sports Complex, and the event in Sandy begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Amphitheater Park.

Football players and coaches—including Kyle Van Noy, Taysom Hill, Mark Atuaia and Robert Anae—were in attendance on Saturday, signing autographs and taking photos with fans. The football team was joined by representatives from the men’s basketball team, women’s basketball team, women’s soccer team, men’s and women’s volleyball teams and cheer squad. Cosmo also made an appearance.

Fans gathered for pictures in BYU football helmets, pads and jerseys. The event also included bounce houses and athletic activities for kids.

For more information, check out the official release.