(Photo by Duff Tittle/BYU Athletic Communications)
LAS VEGAS – BYU kicked off its first Fan Fest of the spring in Las Vegas on Saturday with thousands of fans enjoying an afternoon with Cougar coaches and athletes.
“It was a great turnout,” BYU football assistant head coach Ed Lamb said. “This many people showing up this far from Provo—it’s spectacular.”
Members of the football, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and women’s gymnastics teams were on hand at Craig Ranch Regional Park in North Las Vegas to meet and take pictures with fans and sign autographs. As a senior who has attended many Fan Fest events, linebacker Fred Warner on the football team expressed how important it is to be there for the fans.
“(Fan Fests) are great,” Warner said. “It’s good to be there for them because they are there for us all the time and it’s good to give back.”
Warner was joined by football teammates Tanner Mangum, Kesni Tausinga, KJ Hall, Trajan Pili and Isaiah Armstrong as well as head coach Kalani Sitake, assistant head coach Ed Lamb, offensive coordinator Ty Detmer and assistant coaches Reno Mahe, Jernaro Gilford and Steve Clark. Mary Lake and Lyndie Haddock (women’s volleyball), Amanda Wayment (women’s basketball) and Cheyenne Hill (women’s gymnastics) represented their teams in Las Vegas.
Hill, a Las Vegas native, was among the BYU athletes and coaches also featured on a special two-hour BYU Sports Nation live broadcast on BYUtv during the Fan Fest.
“I love it,” Hill said of the Fan Fest. “We have the best fans in the nation.”
Detmer echoed her sentiment while talking about the amazing reach of BYU fans all over the world.
“(BYU) has a great following—this couldn’t happen for any other school anywhere else,” Detmer said. “There is a real connection out there all across the country, really the world, with our fans.”
David Almodova, assistant athletic director for marketing, plans and oversees the BYU Fan Fest events with his staff. The Cougars have been conducting Fan Fests for five years and continue to find strong support for the annual events.
“BYU has a unique brand,” Almodova said. “We are global. It shows wherever we go. Fans come out and support us. It’s great to see everybody happy and smiling and engaging with our coaches and athletes.”
Additional Fan Fest events will take place this spring in Houston, Texas (Saturday, May 6, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. CT), Farmington, Utah (Tuesday, May 16, 6-8:30 p.m. MT) and Corona, California (Saturday, June 3, 12-3 p.m. PT).
Check out the photo gallery, Las Vegas Fan Fest video, and BYU Sports Nation intervews (links below) to get a feel for the Fan Fest in Las Vegas.
BYU Sports Nation Interviews:
BYU athletic marketing director – David Almodova
Football – Fred Warner
Football – Reno Mahe
Gymnastics – Cheyenne Hill
Women's volleyball – Mary Lake
Football – Ty Detmer
Football – KJ Hall
Women's basketball – Amanda Wayment
Football – Ed Lamb