PROVO -- In the past few years, the BYU football program has experienced some major changes - new colors, new uniforms, new coaches, a new offense and now new lockers.
The LaVell Edwards Stadium home locker room recently had 84 new hardwood oak lockers installed. The new lockers replaced the old ones that had been there since 1982 when the stadium was renovated.
"The installation of the lockers is being funded primarily by former football players," said Val Hale, BYU men's athletics director. "This is something we have done to let the former players help contribute to the program."
In the new lockers, a plaque will be placed with the team logo, the number of the player using the locker that year and the saying 'Worn by Champions -- Wear it with Pride' on it. Also, a list of names of those who have worn that particular number in the past and have contributed money to the new lockers will appear on the plaque.
"One of the real benefits of this is that it bonds the past to the present," Hale said. "Every time a player puts on his jersey from now on, he will think of the players from the past who have worn that number. There is an affinity between them because they have worn the same number."
Hale said the idea for the new lockers came from head coach Gary Crowton.
"Gary did this at Louisiana Tech when he was head coach," Hale said. "They were able to generate enough money from former player contributions to not only fund the project, but put some towards the football program as well."
Mick Hill, BYU football equipment manager for the last 20 years, said the new lockers have been needed for a long time.
"The old lockers were not even really lockers," Hill said. "They were more like open stalls with dividers between them. There was really no place to put anything."
The new lockers are bigger and have a footlocker in which players will be able to store their belongings and will also serve as the player's seat.
Hill expects the players to be pleased with the changes.
"It's going to generate a lot of excitement for the players," Hill said. "Anytime you upgrade the equipment or facilities used by the team, the players get pretty excited."
Although the lockers are in place, there is still work to be done on the locker room. Future plans for the locker room include a new ceiling, pictures of past All-conference and All-American players on the walls, a big screen T.V. and some couches.
"We want the locker room to be something nice," Hale said. "We want it to be something where coaches and players can go and prepare for the games."
So far, over 120 former players have contributed to the lockers, Hale said.
"Each time we send out a letter to the former players, we get a large group to contribute," he said. "Eventually, I would love to see every player donate. It is neat to see them want to help out."
Former players are not the only ones able to contribute. Anyone who would like to contribute, or find out more information, can call the BYU Athletics Department at (801) 422-8704.