BYU Football: The Good, bad, and ugly of Bronco Mendenhall

BYU - Bronco Mendenhall
Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit si.com
Photo Credit si.com

I love/hate Bronco Mendenhall!  There is so much that I love about the guy, but so much that I would love to change.  Sometimes it seems like the poor guy can’t catch a break.  It seems like no matter what he does he is wrong.  I’m going to start with things that bug me with Bronco because I want to end this with positivity.

The Hate

The main thing I do not like is how “Football is Fifth”.  When he first said it I thought it was just Bronco toeing the company line.  He was just telling his higher ups what they wanted to hear.  He said what BYU’s mission is: he wants to mold young men and make them better people.  He essentially made himself their priesthood leader from what it sounds like sometimes.

Let’s remember why Bronco had to say this–let’s remember the Crowton years.  

Bronco Mendenhall inherited a program that was nowhere near where a church-owned school should be.  Crowton tried to ignore the honor code and everything unraveled on him.  It got so bad that not only was Crowton losing players to honor code violations but also losing them to crimes.  If you don’t know this story you can read it here

This resulted in Gary Crowton’s resignation.

Bronco had to deal with all these honor code violations and figure out a way to win.  He needed to change the attitude toward the honor code. He needed his players to understand that they needed to live to a higher standard because they are BYU Cougars.  He started doing firesides and he even leads recruiting with a speech about the honor code.  I commend him for that, but sometimes I think the football coach really believes that football is fifth.

I say that he believes that it is fifth because of his actions.  Deep down I think there is a monster inside Bronco that wants to win games, but he doesn’t let it out because he is expected to do other stuff.  As long as those other things are done and the Church is represented in a good light.  That seems to him that’s good enough.
 

One other thing that I don’t like is that he is the ultimate bus chucker.  Anytime BYU under performs he throws someone under the bus for it.  It was justifiable for him to bus chuck Jaime Hill because the defense is his baby.  I am not a fan of how things went down with Brandon Doman.  Doman was chucked under the bus for the Jake Heaps situation when the only one to blame was Jake Heaps.  Doman should have been given another year at least.  I still feel he was better than Anae.  Let’s face it there’s not a whole lot you can do with Riley Nelson being your starter.

The Love

There are people that argue that Bronco has taken the Cougars as far as he is going to take them.  He’s the Steve Cleveland to BYU football and it’s time to hire the football version of Dave Rose.  There may be some truth there, but I worry things could go the other way with a new coach.  Here is what I love about Bronco Mendenhall and why he is the perfect coach for the BYU Cougars today.  He’s not perfect, but he’s the coach that Cougar fans need and not the one they want or something like that.  He’s the BYU Batman without the hockey pads and funny voice.
BYU needs him because he understands how to deal with the honor code in today’s society.  You can’t just ignore it and you need to let recruits know what they are signing up for.  BYU is unique and he realizes that and uses that to his advantage and realizes that it’s a disadvantage as well. 

I’ve been a BYU fan my whole life and I realize that BYU is BYU and it’s not going to change.

BYU fans feel a disconnect with Bronco because Bronco is Bronco.  He doesn’t show a lot of emotion and even when he does we criticize him for it.  He is who he is and he doesn’t change.  He doesn’t like to pander to the media or the fans and I respect that.  He’s going to stick to his principles and do what he feels is best for the program.  That’s the best you can hope for; that is, as long as he is doing what’s best. 

The institution trusts Bronco Mendenhall completely.  Tom Holmoe and the administration trust him to do what’s right because he has earned that respect from them.  They won’t micromanage him because he keeps the schools mission in mind in everything he does.  This is a trust that the football program needs.  They do not need too many cooks in the kitchen.

Bronco brings a grit and determination out of his players.  The players that buy into Bronco’s thinking take on his persona on the field.  They work hard, they play hard, and they legitimately work on being better people.  BYU is unique in that aspect and I would rather they be that way than win with scandals (or worse, lose with scandals). 

Bronco Mendenhall is 90-39 in his ten seasons and 6-4 in bowl games.  He has made a bowl game every year.  What more do we want from him?  Most would say they want BCS/ New Years 6 bowl appearance.  Why do we have such a high expectation?  Well, we get it from Bronco–he talks about going undefeated and winning a National Championship.  We get mad at his success because Bronco wants us to expect more because he expects more from his program.  “Quest for Perfection” and all that talk that people get mad at him for, I feel he does it on purpose.  He’s not happy with mediocrity either. 

The most important thing to remember is that Bronco will be the head football coach of our BYU Cougars until he doesn’t want to do it anymore.  Hopefully when that day comes BYU can hire them a Dave Rose caliber head coach and not get another Gary Crowton.  We don’t want to see the BYU football program down like it did with Crowton ever again.

Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be grateful for how Bronco saved the BYU football program and hope he helps the Cougars take that next big step and Go Cougars!   

About the author

R Todd Graham

I’m Todd Graham, no not the coach, I’m a big BYU, Utah Jazz and Seahawks fan. I think I’m funny others may disagree. My opinion is mine you are welcomed to disagree.

  • Dereck Strong

    “Football is the fifth”

    People assume that that priorities are incompatible or even mutually exclusive. I don’t believe that this is the case here. Look at the other items on the list: 1) Faith 2) Family 3) Knowledge 4) Friends 5) Football.

    Is a man a worse husband, father, brother, or son for trying to follow the example of Jesus Christ?

    Does placing a priority on faith and family prevent one from getting a good education or from continuing to learn? For me the first two encourage the third.

    Does having faith, a good family relationship, and a good education and knowledge make you a worse friend? I’m pretty sure it has the opposite effect or at the very least only a marginal effect.

    Does having faith, a good family relationship, a good education/knowledge, and being a good friend make one a worse football player? I don’t think so, but if it does I would rather have the inferior football player.

    • Realistic Optimist

      Dereck Strong,

      Since this reply is under my posting, I have to assume that the reply is to my post, however, like the reply, from Dereck Smith, I can not find the connection between the reply and what I posted. Both of your replies, (Dereck Smith and Dereck Strong), sound like they are from the same person, however, I will try to address your reply:

      DS “ Does placing a priority on faith and family prevent one from getting a good education or from continuing to learn?
      RO: Of course not. I do not see your intent of this question.

      DS: For me the first two encourage the third.Does having faith, a good family relationship, and a good education and knowledge make you a worse friend?

      RO: Of course not. I do not see the intent of your reply.

      DS: I’m pretty sure it has the opposite effect or at the very least only a marginal effect” and Does having faith, a good family relationship,
      a good education/knowledge, and being a good friend make one a worse football player? I don’t think so, but if it does I would rather
      have the inferior football player”.

      RO: I don’t understand where you are going with this reply and I do not see any connection to my post, however, I will try to reply:

      If you are referring to football being #5 in importance when it comes to being a head coach, (which my post has nothing to do with),
      in the theme of things, behind God, Church, Education and Family, it does not take a genius to figure out that in real life, this is the
      undeniable truth that any person with an IQ of 55 to 157 or better can not figure out without being told. It is kind of an insult that one
      person puts himself above the rest of us and feels that we are not intelligent enough to figure this out for ourselves.

      On the otherhand, I believe that as a head coach, that coach is paid to be a head coach, and to accept the responsibility of bringing
      his team, with much work, much coaching, much research on the opposing team, and much training, to the highest level that he
      can.

      He should do the job that he is paid to do, without using the other 4 more important values, God, Church, Education, Family, as
      and excuse not to get the job done that he is hired to do. Everything has it’s place. I would expect to hear the bishops, the Stake
      Presidents, and the General Authorities to remind us of these values. It offends me to hear the head coach use this as an excuse for
      not doing all he can do to have the team ready to play all 12 games in the season as well as the post season game.

      I believe that a head coach should not bring up all the other excuses for not doing his job as well as he should be doing it. I do not
      believe that all the four values ranked above football should be blamed for not doing your job.

      I do not believe that taking a family outing during a bye week before a Utah game, that we were favored to win, but instead lost, due
      to lack of preparation should be seen as family values over football as a good thing. Instead, I see it as a selfish act.

      I do not see, using only 6 days of the 24 days allowed by the NCCA to prepare for the San Francisco Bowl, which we were favored
      by some, to win, but lost, because of lack of preparation, while the other P5 team used all of their preparation time and made us look
      silly, as anything good thing that has anything at all to do with God, Church, Education, or family, but instead, poor judgement
      blaming the lack of preparation on the lack of importance of football when compared to those other more important things.

      A good God thing or a good Church thing, or good educational thing, or a good family thing, but instead, i see a coach using these

      good things as an excuse for not doing his job of having the team ready for the next challenge.

      To me, the value system as stated,1-5 is not at all out of line. Instead, it is using that value system or blaming that value system
      for making mistakes in judgement and not having your team ready for the next challenge.

      When the coaches are tired, they blame giving time off for rest and healing when instead, they should give those individuals off that
      need the time off for rest and healing and continue the team practice to give the back ups more training for future success. Instead,
      we use the value system 1-5 for not doing our job.

      Summary: No intelligent person needs to be told by a football coach what our value system is. Most of us have an education equal to or better than his. We are not, on the most part, an ignorant people. We get it. Just don’t use it as an excuse for not doing your job.
      That’s my opinion and you are entitled to yours. When we disagree, let’s try to be respectful in the areas that we disagree and not be condescending.

      • RohoSombrero

        I totally agree. The only thing that I would add is that there is a self righteousness Bronco brings to the program that is more detrimental than helpful. This attitude ensures that he has a job for life, but also ties his hands on building the program into what we all want it to be. I don’t think he should be replaced or anything because he’s doing what the administration seems to want. The fact that his hands are tied doesn’t seem to bother him at all, so he is probably the best man for they job. BYU doesn’t seem to care as much about winning as they do about a lot of other things, like looking ‘righteous’, or at least ‘different’ in the eyes of outsiders. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but it certainly is frustrating to fans like me. Especially since I see this effort as unnecessary and counterproductive.

      • Realistic Optimist

        RohoSombrero,

        I totally agree with all that you said above.

        I think that Bronco does and says what he believers, (right or wrong), the administration, (the Church), wants him to say and believe. It is hard for anyone to fault a guy for being perfect at what he/she thinks, (right or wrong) the boss wants.

        As a Church member, and a person being diligent to what all of that entails, (Beliefs, standards, obedience, attendance, tithing,
        volunteering, walking the extra mile etc.) you can’t ask for anything better than what Bronco is; Especially considering the pay he gets, compared to like coaches; The expected 10% tithing on that pay; And probably, if I know Bronco, another 5% for all the other auxiliary church functions, i.e. building fund committee, Elders Quorum Dues, Primary, Fast Sunday, other, etc.

        The problem, in my opinion, is, as honorable and as respectable as all above is, regarding Bronco, this is not what is going to get us to the next level, (A P5 conference).

        Perhaps if we had a P5 conference where the Commissioner of that conference was LDS, sharing the same values and same beliefs as all in the LDS Church members, then Bronco would be among the first chosen to get our Cougars into a P5 conference, but that is not the case.

        The case is, that those commissioners in all of the P5 conferences are not LDS. They have their own value systems that apparently differ from ours. They want coaches that concentrate their efforts on coaching football and not just promoting the Church.

        Sometimes, hard sell, be it in department stores or in Religion, often has the opposite effort as what is desired by those doing the hard sell.

        I mean no attack and no offense to anyone. I am just looking at the situation like an outsider might look at our situation. It is the outsiders that will say if we are selected for a P5 conference if an opening becomes available. It won’t be the members of the Church unless they happen to be a part of those coveted P5 conferences.

      • RohoSombrero

        Exactly Realistic Optimist. You are living up to the Realistic part of your name. I’m frankly sick to death of an atmosphere so arrogant and self righteous that even the best LDS athletes would rather go to Utah than BYU. Utah has the exact same support structures as BYU does, without the soviet style ‘honor system’ and with a P5 program. I can’t understand how BYU can’t see that forcing all students, regardless of belief, to act a certain way is treating them like perpetual children and stunting the growth of the student body. I hate the way it effects our football program, but that’s the least of its problems. How are LDS people supposed to understand how to associate with people that don’t share their values when the school goes so far out of its way to keep them from interacting with them until they graduate?

      • Realistic Optimist

        Roho Sombrero,

        I see your post as an intelligent and objective point of view that unfortunately, will be totally rejected by those that think they are the most holy among us. Too bad.

      • RohoSombrero

        No doubt about that lol. BYU is often their own worst enemy. Thanks for the comment!

      • RohoSombrero

        BTW I’m on the cougarfan site as MikeH. You should join us. We desperately need a rational voice.

      • Realistic Optimist

        RohoSombrero,
        Thanks for the invitation, and the MikeH ID. Also thank you for the respect. I will be looking for the MikeH in the near future.
        Do you ever post on the Cougarboard? if so, what is your name there. On some of the sites, i.e. Desert News, KSL, Salt Lake Tribune, Provo Herald, Total Blue Sports, Bleacher Report, and others, I sometimes go by the name of ronalduharriet, with or without caps.

      • Realistic Optimist

        Oh Roho Sombrero, Don’t get me started.
        We must be secret twins seperated at birth by our parents that never told us about it. You so hit the nail on the head.

        The arrogance of a new coach, telling the seasoned coaches in the nation like Nick Saben, Pete Carrol, Urban Myers, Peterson and other P5 successful coaches and also coahes in his mission field how they should follow his example and never run up the score because these are just kids and it is not necessary to destroy these kids. Football is just a game that should be enjoyed.

        Next, the very proud UCLA team came to our school from the very proud pac 10 conference and we destroyed them 59-0. It was the worse loss in their history. Later we destroyed FCS teams 70-0 and so forth.

        To me his arrogance was only second to his obsequenance hiding behind church values as an excuse for not performing above 3 star level while proclaiming that his goal was to get us another National Championship.

        Using Church values as an excuse for giving the coaches and team players time off instead of practicing for major games was a sham. We had a bye week to prepare for a game vs. Utah. The coach took a family outing instead of coaching. the other coaches and players had time off for rest and healing. Utah used all of their practice days to get ready to play us. The underdog team by 7 points, Utah, came into the game well coached, and instead of losing by 7 points, the won that game by 7 points that had the coach on a family outing proving that God, Church, Family, Education, and perhaps fireside chats were more important than football.

        Next using the same church value excuse which he often hid behind, we had 28 days to prepare for the San Francisco Bowl Game vs Pac 10 Cal. Cal took Independent BYU seriously, and as the underdog, they used all 28 days to prepare for that game. We the favored independent team, recognized as a P5 team for programing only, only took 5 of the 28 days for practice. The coaches and of course, (tongue in cheek), the players also took the rest of the time off for resting and healing and on the filed, we the favored team, lost my a significiant margin, to the otherwise inferrior team at the time.

        Hey, I am sure that you and I could go on and on and on for ever. Later if interested we may discuss trying to make everone like us, good or bad, but in our eyes, only good.

      • Realistic Optimist

        RohoSombrero,
        I wish I could have used your words and talent to say what I have been trying to say, but am not capable of saying it without offending people. Thank you for your reply;
        I am glad that Bronco is gone. I can once again have high hopes for my Cougar team.

    • Realistic Optimist

      Dereck Strong,

      You present excellent questions, and all of my answers are what they should be, but I ask you a question now:

      Does loving BYU football and having it very important to us in our lives, keep us from our Faith, our Family, Our Knowledge, and Our Friends? If so, why would our Church Owned University deal with such an evil hobby?

  • dereck Smith

    “he is the ultimate bus chucker”

    I strongly disagree. Throwing someone under the bus is publicly throwing all of the blame on a poor performance(s) on someone who is only partially (and often only a small part) responsible.

    I don’t remember him ever saying that Jaime Hill was the reason the Cougar D was stinking in up. 5 games into the season, the Cougar D was one of the worst in the country: rush defense 118th, scoring offense 116th, and passing efficiency offense 117th. Hill was given the option of resigning or being fired. After he was fired, BYU became one of the best defenses in the country.

    They gave up an average of 16.1 pts per game (which would have been 2nd in the nation this year), 5.79 yards per pass attempt (7th), and 2.63 yards per rush attempt (1st).
    I don’t call that “throwing someone under the bus”, I call that making a difficult, but definitely great decision. Possibly the best single decision of his coaching tenure.

    As for Doman, he was a victim of the QB situation. If Nelson had been healthy, Doman probably would not have been fired. But with Nelson hurt, the QB situation was grim. You have a True Freshman (Hill) who, while promising, was unable to score more that 6 points against a decent defense (and had a season ending injury). Then there was Lark. He was a career 3rd (or farther down) stringer who, like Hill, could beat up on lousy teams but couldn’t lead the Cougar offense to more that 6 points against a decent D. That left a gimpy Riley Nelson to face a schedule that featured 5-6 ranked teams. While he was more productive than his backups were, it still was not pretty.

    I don’t think Doman was necessarily a bad OC, but being “not bad” isn’t good enough in college football. I think the QB struggles during the 2012 season was a chance for Mendenhall to get rid of a mediocre offensive coordinator in search for someone who would be good to great.

    There was no blame game publically exhibited animosity or blame, just the firing of an OC after a poor offensive season.

    • Realistic Optimist

      Dereck Smith,

      I am not sure whom your reply was to, but it appears to be a reply to my post, however, I see no real connection to anything that i said.
      I will attempt to address some of your issues:

      Not one of your 7 paragraphs has anything at all with my post above.

      I would like to remind you, that before the scandal, Gary Crowton brought us to a #5 ranking, with Luke Staley as our star running back and a chance at a BCS bowl, which we have not had anything near any of those two things since his firing.

      His bad record came not before, but after all the heat that he received that in my opinion, unjustly made him the bad guy, yes, the fall guy, for all the bad publicity that game as a result of unacceptable behavior of, not Crowton, but of a few of his players, late at night, in the privacy of their own home. No head coach can be with each and every player, 24 hours per day, and especially not in the privacy of the players in their own home. At least they can’t in a democracy. This was not a whole team problem, but the problem of approximately 3 players.

      Yes, once Crowton was put on the hot seat, he had to spend most of his time planning for all the attacks against him. He was the fall guy. He was the target. It took all of his focus. The team success spiraled down hill fast and he was fired at the game where 64 thousand fans watched us beat ND at LES.

      • RohoSombrero

        I think he was addressing the article, and I agree. I’ve never heard him throw anyone under the bus and I’ve heard him take responsibility for losses many times.

    • Realistic Optimist

      I loved our gutsy Doman that was 3rd string QB until our first string was injured which pushed him up into the back up QB position which lasted until the second string qb was injured which pushed Doman into our Starting position. He was a great dual threat. We all loved him.

      Having said that, I believe that he was given too much responsibility before he was prepared for it. With his lack of preparation, before accepting the position, he was in no position to stand up to Bronco, for what he knew, or should have known in regards to which QB to play and which QB not to play, but his lack of experience, did not allow this.

  • Realistic Optimist

    I like your article and I agree with the intent and find very little that I do not agree with, so rather then telling all that I do agree with, which is most of the article, I will tell you my differences of opinion.

    1. Crowton, in my opinion did not ignore the honor code. He had a few players, that after school hours, late at night, and in the privacy of their own home, brought shame to the University and Crowton was the fall guy. He can’t be with each of his players 24 hours per day and be with them in their own homes unless he is invited. I do believe that we were unjustly too hard on him with all the blame.

    2. Crowton did not resign. He was fired at half time, in front of 64,000 fans at LES at the game where we beat ND. I was not proud of the lack of class and privacy that went along with that firing.

    We all make mistakes. Some of us are too quick to judge instead of leaving the judging to God.

    The rest of your article, I do agree with.

    • RohoSombrero

      Totally agree with the above re the Crowton stuff. The funny thing to me is it seems like this article gets things exactly backwards. If anyone was a little loose with the honor code it was LaVell, not Crowton, and I think that’s a big part of the reason he won. I was at BYU when they won the national champion and the years both before and after. During that time they almost never lost a game, and it was well known that McMann didn’t live the honor code. He drank beer openly in his apartment and everyone knew it. So what? Why should he really have to pretend to be LDS when he isn’t? What purpose does this really serve? It seems like something more out of Soviet Russia, than something a religion would propose in a free country, and I just don’t see that much ‘honor’ in it. The ‘honor code’ is undoubtedly the main reason BYU is mired in mediocrity. It treats people that are supposed to be adults like perpetual children, and it simply doesn’t have any place in an institution of higher learning. I know I’m probably alone here but until the old paranoid guys in SLC loosen the reigns a bit, BYU is doomed to mediocrity. The honor code accomplishes the exact opposite of what BYU thinks it does.

      • Realistic Optimist

        RohoSombrero,

        We think a lot alike. We preach free agency on one hand, but don’t allow it on the other.

        Is it better to punish one man for not living up to our standards, or is it better to praise him for living the best part of his own standards ?

  • Realistic Optimist

    To Dereck Smith, and to Dereck Strong. Your writing sounds like it comes from the same person. Maybe Smith is strong?

    I think that the 95%+ of the Student Body at BYU, being LDS, knows and understands that God, the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is #1 in the hearts of all of us. I think that we all know that the Plan for Salvation is the second most important thing that we can work towards which only comes after the love of the God Head. The family unit must come in at # 3 in importance. (Some may argue that education may take that #3 spot). #4, most of us can agree that education should take that spot. We may or may not argue that Fireside Chats, might be #5 for building character and wholesome fellowship. Thinking in these terms, yes, Bronco was correct. Football was probably #5-6 in importance but not any higher.

    The objectionable part is that Bronco felt that he had to teach us these values, assuming that we had no values until he taught us. My great grandchildren 8-12 years old would be offended by this.

    Another objectionable part of this is that Bronco spent too much time dwelling on this value system, acting more like a general authority than acting like a Head coach. He has his place. The General Authorities, The regional directors, the stake presidents, the Bishopric’s the elders quorum, and other branches of the Priesthood, the Sunday and Primary teachers and the home teachers, and don’t forget the missionaries and the mission presidents, and the temple workers all have their places. Bronco tried to be all things to all people and as a result, did not do a good job at what he was hired to do. Coach football. (Oh yes, I am aware of the 10-2 seasons vs. nobodies.” ” I am aware of the long ongoing bowl appearances playing nobodies.”

    He even offend many coaches, in the USA and where he served his foreign mission trying to teach those accomplished coaches the proper value system in coaching. I’m never forget the lecture to those coaches not to run up the score. These are just kids that are playing the game.
    Next we came home and destroyed UCLA 58-0 at LES. Now last season we destroyed Savanna State 69-0.

    While Bronco was being super holy and good for all to see, Kyle was spending all of his energy coaching football. Kyle got the Utes into the Pac 12 after winning a couple BCS bowls. His team now gets $25 million from TV revenue. Bronco got us into Independents where we get $8-10 million TV revenue. Kyle now earns close to $3 million per year, while Bronco earns close to $1 million per year.

    Conclusion: Bronco is a great man. Most of us have our value system in place without him thinking that it is he that taught us that value system.
    Bronco has grown up a lot. It has been a few years since he has lectured to other coaches outside our own BYU. It has been a few years since
    he has lectured to us like we were pre age of accountability. He has grown up a lot. I give him an A+ for his growth of the past couple years.
    Along with the AD, also to be commended, Bronco is scheduling much tougher SOS now and should be praised if we get a 7-5 season, which is much more impressive than the 10-2 seasons of the past. I thank Bronco and the AD for all the growth and improvements in the program post
    2013 season. He is now, these past two years, acting like a head coach. For me the first 9 years was a sham.

  • Realistic Optimist

    Dear Redhat, Sorry, I mean RohoSombrerro, Just kidding.

    I think that you and I share something in common that most other LDS think they have, but in reality, really do not have.

    I think that this thing that you and I have in common, is that you and I work or have worked in places that have some LDS workers , but most are non LDS. We often associate with those that we work with, on a social basis. Since many of those that we work with are not LDS, we associate with many, and have many friends, that are not LDS.

    With this experience, we tend to know and appreciate more of what those friends of ours, that are not in the LDS fold, tend to think; tend to feel; and what they tend to be outraged by. That is both a blessing for each of us and also a curse for each of us.

    Sometimes, I believe that it creates some great conflict within ourselves, when we seem to find some validly in that which drives them crazy with disapproval for some of the things that we do, like recruiting needed non members for sports, and then ignoring the athletes own value system and in doing so, forces them to live by the LDS value system,
    (Honor Code) or be punished by not living the belief of the LDS.

    I don’t know what the answer is. The Church is not going to drop the Honor Code, and I am not sure that they should. They have recently made a big change, by not making the offense public. I think that is a baby step in the correct direction, but probably not enough.

    I love the way that Lavel Edwards was able to cope with one of the finest quarter backs in our BYU history and in the NFL history. Jim MacMann was a Catholic boy that had dreamed of playing football by Notre Dame, but was rejected and not allowed on the team, and to spite ND, came to BYU and became of our our few greats.

    I remember him, after a big game, showing up on TV for a Press Conference after a brilliant performance winning the game for BYU. He had a beer in one hand, a cigar in the other hand and they had to bleep out the F work in each sentence. Nobody can tell me this didn’t happen, because I watched it happen on TV.

    Lavel went beyond forgiveness. He went beyond Tolerance. He, as much as possible within the limits of the University, practiced acceptance. Lavel chose to find the good in each of his players instead of the bad in each of his players. I never heard of any athlete that didn’t love him. He is a great example for all future coaches to follow. Thant is my opinion. I expect to have a lot of hate responses to this post, because that is what a few is best at. (Hate Responses instead of intelligent dialogue.)