BYU Cougars football
2024 BYU Cougars football team
First season1922
Athletic directorTom Holmoe
Head coachKalani Sitake
8th season, 61–41 (.598)
StadiumLaVell Edwards Stadium
(capacity: 63,470
Record: 66,247)
Year built1964
Field surfaceNatural grass
LocationProvo, Utah
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferenceBig 12 Conference
Past conferencesRMAC (1922–1937)
Skyline (1938–1961)
WAC (1962–1998)
Mountain West (1999–2010)
FBS Independent (2011–2022)
All-time record617–444–27 (.580)
Bowl record17–22–1 (.438)
Claimed national titles1 (1984)
Conference titles23
(1965, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007)
RivalriesUtah (Holy War)
Utah State (The Old Wagon Wheel)
Heisman winnersTy Detmer – 1990
Consensus All-Americans14[1]
ColorsBlue and white[2]
Fight songThe Cougar Song
MascotCosmo the Cougar
Marching bandThe Power of the Wasatch

The BYU Cougars football team is the college football program representing Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. The Cougars began collegiate football competition in 1922, and have won 23 conference championships and one national championship in 1984.

The team has competed in several different athletic conferences during its history, from July 1, 2011 to 2022, they competed as an FBS Independent. On September 10, 2021, the Big 12 Conference unanimously accepted BYU’s application to the conference.[3] BYU officially joined the Big 12 on July 1, 2023.

The team plays home games at the 63,470-seat LaVell Edwards Stadium, named after head coach LaVell Edwards who won 19 conference championships, seven bowl games, and one national championship (1984) while coaching at BYU.


Main article: List of BYU Cougars head football coaches

See also: List of BYU Cougars football seasons

Early history

The school's first football team won the regional championship in 1896.

BYU traces its football roots back to the late 19th century. Benjamin Cluff became the third principal of Brigham Young Academy (the precursor to BYU) in 1892 (the school was converted into a university in 1903) and was influenced by his collegiate studies at the University of Michigan to bring athletic competition to Brigham Young. The first BYU football team in 1896 played the University of Utah (winning 12–4), the Elks, the Crescents, the YMCA of Salt Lake City, the Wheel Club of Denver, and Westminster College; and it ultimately won the championship.[4] In its second year of competition, the BYA football team won the championship too, but as a result of an accidental football-related death in Utah in 1900, football was banned from all LDS Church schools until 1919.[5]

After a 20-year ban on football, the sport was brought back to BYU on an intramural basis in 1919, and intercollegiate games were resumed in 1920 under coach Alvin Twitchell.[6] BYU was admitted to the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1921 and had its first winning year in 1929 under the helm of coach G. Ott Romney, who BYU recruited from Montana State University the year before.[7] Romney and his successor Eddie Kimball ushered in a new era in Cougar football in which the team went 65–51–12 between 1928–1942. In 1932, the Cougars posted an 8–1 record and outscored their opponents 188–50, which remains one of the school's finest seasons on record. The university did not field a team from 1943–1945 due to World War II, and in 1949 suffered its only winless season, going 0–11.

The team began to rebuild in the mid-1950s, recruiting University of Rhode Island head coach Hal Kopp to lead the Cougars, who achieved back-to-back winning seasons in 1957 and 1958, led by southpaw quarterback Jared Stephens and nose tackle Gavin Anae. In 1961, Eldon "The Phantom" Fortie became the school's first All-American, and in 1962, BYU moved to the Western Athletic Conference. In 1964, Cougar Stadium was built, which included a capacity of 30,000, and in 1965, head coach Tommy Hudspeth led the Cougars to their first conference championship with a record of 6–4.

LaVell Edwards era (1972–2000)

Coach LaVell Edwards

In 1972, assistant coach LaVell Edwards was promoted to head coach, succeeding Hudspeth. Edwards and his staff installed a drop-back passing game considered to be an early implementation of the West Coast offense, resulting in Cougar Pete Van Valkenburg as the nation's leading rusher for that year. The following year, the Cougars struggled to a 5–6 finish, but this would be Edwards' only losing season during his run as BYU coach over the next three decades. In fact, the Cougars won the conference championship every year except one from 1974 to 1985, including the national championship in 1984. However, the Cougars lost their first four bowl games. Their first post-season win came in the 1980 Holiday Bowl, which has become known as the "Miracle Bowl" since BYU was trailing SMU 45–25 with four minutes left in the game and then came back to win.[8] BYU would win its 1981, 1983, and 1984 bowl games as well; and it earned the nickname "Quarterback U" for consistently producing All-American quarterbacks, which included Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon and Steve Young. During this period, Young finished second for the Heisman Trophy in 1983 and McMahon finished third for the trophy in 1981.

In 1984, BYU reached the pinnacle of college football when it was recognized as college football national champions, being the only unbeaten, untied team in the nation. The undefeated Cougars (12–0–0) opened the season with a 20–14 victory over Pitt (3-7-1), ranked No. 3 in the nation at the time and finished the season with a victory over the Michigan Wolverines (6–5–0). The victory over Michigan, 24–17 in the Holiday Bowl, marked the only time a national champion played in a bowl game before New Year's Day, and the last time a national championship was determined by a team from a non-power 5 conference.[9] Coupled with the 11 consecutive wins to close out the 1983 season, BYU concluded the 1984 championship on a 24-game winning streak. At the end of the season, BYU was voted National Champion after being number one in all four NCAA sanctioned polls AP, Coaches, NFF, and FWAA.

In 1985, quarterback Robbie Bosco finished third in the Heisman balloting; in 1986, defensive lineman Jason Buck became the first BYU player ever to win the Outland Trophy; and in 1989, offensive lineman Mo Elewonibi also won the Outland Trophy. In 1990, the Cougars achieved their first victory over a top-ranked team when they defeated the No. 1 Miami Hurricanes early in the season, and the season culminated with quarterback Ty Detmer becoming BYU's first and only Heisman Trophy winner. In 1996, BYU won the first ever WAC Championship Game in Las Vegas and earned a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl against Kansas State of the newly formed Big 12 Conference, making it BYU's first ever New Year's Day bowl game, which they won 19–15. BYU finished ranked No. 5 in both the Coaches and AP polls, and became the first team in NCAA history to win 14 games in a season.[10]

Mountain West era (1999–2010)

In 1999, BYU left the WAC along with seven other teams to form the Mountain West Conference, with the Cougars winning a share of the inaugural MWC championship. With the change of conferences, BYU also debuted a new color scheme, featuring a darker shade of blue, a redesigned cougar logo, and the introduction of tan as an accent color.[11] 1999 also featured the controversial "bib" home uniforms, which only lasted for one season.

Just prior to the 2000 season, Edwards announced that it would be his final year as the program's head coach, and prior to Edwards' final home game, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that Cougar Stadium would be renamed "LaVell Edwards Stadium".[12] After punter Aaron Edwards threw a last second touchdown pass on a fake punt, Coach Edwards was carried off the field following the season closer against the Utes.

Fans storming the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2009 after No. 19 BYU beat No. 21 Utah 26–23 in overtime
BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman making a catch at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon in a 2011 game against Oregon State, which the Cougars won 38–28.

Former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was hired to replace Edwards. His first season in 2001 was successful, earning a 12–2 record and running back Luke Staley earning the Doak Walker Award, but the Cougars posted losing records the following three seasons (including only nine conference wins)–BYU's first losing records in three decades. His teams also received negative publicity for infractions of the university's honor code. He was forced to resign on December 1, 2004.[13][14][15] BYU originally offered the job to Utah defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham, who had played for Edwards in the late 1970s. However, when Whittingham opted instead to become head coach at Utah, the Cougars instead offered the job to BYU defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall, who accepted.

Bronco Mendenhall brought stability and success to the BYU program after the Crowton years. At the time of his hiring, the 38-year-old Mendenhall was the second youngest Division 1 football head coach in the country. As the legendary LaVell Edwards told him shortly after being hired, "‘You have a tough job.’ Then there was a pause and silence,” says Mendenhall. “It wasn’t very comforting to hear that. But then he just said, ‘But it’s a great job.’”[16]

Mendenhall led BYU to a bowl game every season he was head coach and saw Top 25 finishes in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.[17]

Independent (2011–2022)

On September 1, 2010, BYU announced it would begin competition as a football independent starting in the 2011 season, primarily due to years of frustration with the lack of TV coverage in the Mountain West Conference and the University of Utah's departure for the Pac-12 Conference. That same day, BYU announced an 8-year contract with ESPN in which 11 games would be broadcast on one of the ESPN networks and BYU would retain the rights to utilize its on-campus broadcasting facilities and nationally syndicated station. The Cougars were reportedly considered for invitations by the Big XII Conference and former Big East Conference for all sports during this period, but neither opted to add BYU.

In February 2011, CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award-winner Ben Cahoon joined the coaching staff as the wide receivers coach.[18]

In 2011, BYU changed quarterbacks mid-season from sophomore Jake Heaps to junior Riley Nelson, and in 2012 three different quarterbacks were utilized at different points in the season. During the 2012 offseason, graduated defensive end Ziggy Ansah was drafted as the No. 5 overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, tied for the highest draft BYU alumnus with Jim McMahon '82.[19] For the 2013 BYU football season, the Cougars were slated to compete against four pre-season-ranked teams.

In January 2015, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which had previously announced that from 2017 forward all members had to play at least one non-conference game each season against a "Power 5" team (i.e., a school in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, or SEC, plus Notre Dame, an FBS independent but otherwise an ACC member), announced that games against BYU would not count toward the "Power 5" requirement, a stipulation also held by the SEC. Weeks later, both leagues reversed course and opted to count games against BYU and the other remaining FBS independent at that time, Army, toward meeting the P5 provision. In the case of the SEC, this change in policy was driven more by the trend of "Power 5" leagues requiring nine conference games. At the time of the report, the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 either had nine-game conference schedules or were introducing them in the near future. The ACC has an eight-game schedule, but also has a scheduling alliance with Notre Dame that has five ACC members playing the Fighting Irish each season. Additionally, three SEC teams had a total of five games scheduled with BYU from 2015 to 2020.[20] In July 2015, the Big Ten announced that games against BYU would count toward the conference's "Power 5" scheduling requirement that takes effect in 2016.[21] In late 2015, the Big XII Conference added a Power Five non-conference scheduling requirement and stated that BYU would not count toward filling that mandate.[22]

On December 4, 2015, Mendenhall accepted the head coach position with Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).[23] His 99 wins in 11 seasons are second all-time in school history, behind only Edwards.

BYU spent more than a week courting Navy Midshipmen football head coach Ken Niumatalolo to take over the Cougars program. After several days, which included a visit to Provo and public remarks about considering the job, Niumatalolo ultimately declined BYU's offer in order to remain with Navy. Athletics director Tom Holmoe moved on to several other potential candidates and on Dec. 19 introduced Oregon State defensive coordinator and former Cougars fullback Kalani Sitake as BYU's next head coach.[24]

At the time of his hiring, Kalani Sitake said, "I'm grateful for everything BYU gave me as a player. It's a dream come true for me to return home."[25]

While many have questioned whether independence long-term is sustainable, from a financial perspective it appears to be so. BYU's ESPN contract is worth somewhere between $6–10 million annually, which is on par with what ACC teams received from a contract also negotiated around the same time.[26] ESPN was happy enough with its contract with BYU that it exercised an option to extend the deal through the 2019 season.[27] ESPN also helps BYU line up bowl deals, since as an independent, BYU is not part of any league bowl tie-ins.

BYU's estimated $67 million in annual revenue[28] places it 55th in total revenue in 2018. That's comparable to the lower half of the Pac-12 and more than any G5 school, including every Mountain West institution.[29] In fact, the highest earning MWC team, San Diego State, had $30 million in revenue, with more than 46% of that subsidized by the state of California. The G5 school with the most revenue without a subsidy is UCONN with $43 million, still nearly $20 million below BYU.

Even as an independent, BYU is one of just a handful of schools in all of college athletics to generate a profit, enjoying five times the G5 average revenue ($13 million).[30]

On September 10, 2021, the Big 12 Conference announced they had sent invitations to BYU to join, along with Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston. BYU accepted the invitation and will begin competing in the conference in the 2023 season.

Conference affiliations


National championships

In 1984, BYU was awarded a consensus National Championship.[31][32]

Year Coach Selectors Record Bowl Result Final AP Final Coaches
1984 Lavell Edwards AP, Billingsley, Football Research, FW, National Championship Foundation, National Football Foundation, Poling, Sagarin (ELO-Chess), UPI, USA/CNN 13–0 Holiday W 24–17 vs. Michigan No. 1 No. 1

Conference championships

Season Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1965 Western Athletic Conference Tommy Hudspeth 6–4 4–1
1974 Lavell Edwards 7–4–1 6–0–1
1976 Lavell Edwards 9–3 6–1
1977 Lavell Edwards 9–2 6–1
1978 Lavell Edwards 9–4 5–1
1979 Lavell Edwards 11–1 7–0
1980 Lavell Edwards 12–1 6–1
1981 Lavell Edwards 11–2 7–1
1982 Lavell Edwards 8–4 7–1
1983 Lavell Edwards 11–1 7–0
1984 Lavell Edwards 13–0 8–0
1985 Lavell Edwards 11–3 7–1
1989 Lavell Edwards 10–3 7–1
1990 Lavell Edwards 10–3 7–1
1991 Lavell Edwards 8–3–2 7–0–1
1992 Lavell Edwards 8–5 6–2
1993 Lavell Edwards 6–6 6–2
1995 Lavell Edwards 7–4 6–2
1996 Lavell Edwards 14–1 10–0
1999 Mountain West Conference Lavell Edwards 8–4 5–2
2001 Gary Crowton 12–2 7–0
2006 Bronco Mendenhall 11–2 8–0
2007 Bronco Mendenhall 11-2 8–0

† Co-champions

Division championships

BYU has won two division championships, both in the Western Athletic Conference.

Season Division Coach Opponent CG result
1996 WAC - Mountain LaVell Edwards Wyoming W 28–25OT
1998 WAC - Pacific Air Force L 13–20

† Co-champions

Bowl games

BYU has made 40 bowl appearances with a record of 17–22–1. They have played in the Holiday Bowl (4–6–1), the Cotton Bowl Classic (1–0), the Las Vegas Bowl (3–3), the Copper Bowl (1–0), the Tangerine/Citrus Bowl (0–2), the Freedom Bowl (1–1), the Liberty Bowl (0–2), the Aloha Bowl (0–1), the Fiesta Bowl (0–1), the Motor City Bowl (0–1), the All-American Bowl (0–1), the New Mexico Bowl (2–0), the Armed Forces Bowl (1–0), the Poinsettia Bowl (2–0), Fight Hunger Bowl (0–1), the Miami Beach Bowl (0–1), the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (1–0), Hawaii Bowl (0–1), Boca Raton Bowl (1–0), and the Independence Bowl (0-1).

No. Date Bowl Opponent Result
1 December 28, 1974 Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State L 6–16
2 December 18, 1976 Tangerine Bowl Oklahoma State L 21–49
3 December 22, 1978 Holiday Bowl Navy L 16–23
4 December 21, 1979 Holiday Bowl Indiana L 37–38
5 December 19, 1980 Holiday Bowl SMU W 46–45
6 December 18, 1981 Holiday Bowl Washington State W 38–36
7 December 17, 1982 Holiday Bowl Ohio State L 17–47
8 December 23, 1983 Holiday Bowl Missouri W 21–17
9 December 21, 1984 Holiday Bowl Michigan W 24–17
10 December 28, 1985 Florida Citrus Bowl Ohio State L 7–10
11 December 30, 1986 Freedom Bowl UCLA L 10–31
12 December 22, 1987 All-American Bowl Virginia L 16–22
13 December 29, 1988 Freedom Bowl Colorado W 20–17
14 December 29, 1989 Holiday Bowl Penn State L 39–50
15 December 29, 1990 Holiday Bowl Texas A&M L 14–65
16 December 30, 1991 Holiday Bowl Iowa T 13–13
17 December 25, 1992 Aloha Bowl Kansas L 20–23
18 December 30, 1993 Holiday Bowl Ohio State L 21–28
19 December 29, 1994 Copper Bowl Oklahoma W 31–6
20 January 1, 1997 Cotton Bowl Classic Kansas State W 19–15
21 December 31, 1998 Liberty Bowl Tulane L 27–41
22 December 27, 1999 Motor City Bowl Marshall L 3–21
23 December 31, 2001 Liberty Bowl Louisville L 10–28
24 December 22, 2005 Las Vegas Bowl California L 28–35
25 December 21, 2006 Las Vegas Bowl Oregon W 38–8
26 December 22, 2007 Las Vegas Bowl UCLA W 17–16
27 December 21, 2008 Las Vegas Bowl Arizona L 21–31
28 December 22, 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Oregon State W 44–20
29 December 18, 2010 New Mexico Bowl UTEP W 52–24
30 December 30, 2011 Armed Forces Bowl Tulsa W 24–21
31 December 20, 2012 Poinsettia Bowl San Diego State W 23–6
32 December 27, 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl Washington L 16–31
33 December 22, 2014 Miami Beach Bowl Memphis L 48–55 2OT
34 December 19, 2015 Las Vegas Bowl Utah L 28–35
35 December 21, 2016 Poinsettia Bowl Wyoming W 24–21
36 December 21, 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan W 49–18
37 December 24, 2019 Hawaii Bowl Hawaii L 34–38
38 December 22, 2020 Boca Raton Bowl UCF W 49–23
39 December 18, 2021 Independence Bowl UAB L 28–31
40 December 17, 2022 New Mexico Bowl SMU W 24–23
                                                                                                                                                                                                    41 March 22,2024 UNC                                                                                                                                                                                         
W 66-0


BYU's football program has two historic rivalries: one with the Utah Utes in a game referred to as "The Holy War", and another with the Utah State Aggies in "The Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel". BYU competes with Utah, and Utah State for the Beehive Boot. Both of these series have experienced dormancy in recent years due to various conference changes between the three programs.


Main article: Holy War (BYU–Utah)

Utah leads the series 62–35–4 through the 2021 season.[33]

Utah State

Main article: BYU–Utah State football rivalry

BYU leads the series with Utah State 51–37–3 through the 2022 season.[34] Main BYU-TCU

All-time record vs. current Big 12 teams

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Big 12 opponents as of the completion of the 2023 season.[35]

Opponent Won Lost Tied Pct. Streak First meeting
Baylor 2 2 0 .500 Won 1 1983
Cincinnati 3 0 0 1.000 Won 3 2015
Houston 3 0 0 1.000 Won 3 2013
Iowa State 0 5 0 .000 Lost 5 1968
Kansas 0 2 0 .000 Lost 2 1992
Kansas State 4 4 0 .500 Won 2 1957
Oklahoma 2 1 0 .667 Lost 1 1994
Oklahoma State 0 3 0 .000 Lost 3 1974
Texas 4 2 0 .667 Lost 1 1987
TCU 5 7 0 .417 Lost 5 1987
Texas Tech 1 1 0 .500 Won 1 1940
UCF 2 1 0 .667 Won 1 2011
West Virginia 0 2 0 .000 Lost 2 2016
Totals 26 30 0 .464

Individual accomplishments

Record book

See also: BYU Cougars football statistical leaders

Honors and awards

1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer's jersey and trophy on display at the BYU Legacy Hall
QB Jim McMahon
QB Steve Young

Team awards for the BYU Cougars include 23 conference titles and one national championship in 1984. For player awards, BYU has produced 52 All-Americans (13 Consensus All-Americans),.[36]

Ty Detmer – 1990
Gary Sheide – 1974... 8th
Gifford Nielsen — 1976... 6th
Marc Wilson — 1979... 3rd
Jim McMahon — 1980... 5th
Jim McMahon — 1981... 3rd
Steve Young — 1983... 2nd
Robbie Bosco — 1984... 3rd
Robbie Bosco — 1985... 3rd
Ty Detmer — 1989... 9th
Ty Detmer — 1991... 3rd
Zach Wilson — 2020... 8th
Ty Detmer – 1990
Jim McMahon – 1981
Steve Young — 1983
Ty Detmer — 1990, 1991
Gary Sheide – 1974
Marc Wilson — 1979
Jim McMahon — 1981
Steve Young — 1983
Robbie Bosco — 1984
Ty Detmer — 1991
Steve Sarkisian — 1996
Luke Staley – 2001
Luke Staley – 2001
Jason Buck – 1986
Mohammed Elewonibi — 1989

For coaching, LaVell Edwards received the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award in 1979,[37] the AFCA (Kodak) Coach of the Year Award in 1984, and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (career achievement) in 2003.

Consensus All-Americans

BYU has had 14 Consensus All-Americans.

Player Year
Marc Wilson 1979
Nick Eyre 1980
Jim McMahon 1981
Gordon Hudson 1982, 1983
Steve Young 1983
Jason Buck 1986
Mo Elewonibi 1989
Chris Smith 1990
Ty Detmer 1990, 1991
Luke Staley 2001
Dennis Pitta 2009
Brady Christensen 2020

College Football Hall of Fame

Name Position Years at BYU Year Inducted
Gifford Nielsen[38] QB 1973–77 1994
Marc Wilson QB 1975–79 1996
Jim McMahon QB 1977–81 1998
Lavell Edwards Coach 1972–00 2004
Steve Young QB 1980–83 2005
Gordon Hudson TE 1980–83 2009
Ty Detmer QB 1987–91 2012

Retired numbers

See also: List of NCAA football retired numbers

No. Player Pos. Career No. retir. Ref.
6 Marc Wilson QB 1975–79 September 16, 2017 [39]
Robbie Bosco QB 1981–85 September 16, 2017 [39]
Luke Staley RB 1999–01 September 16, 2017 [39]
8 Steve Young QB 1980–83 August 28, 2003 [39]
9 Jim McMahon QB 1977–81 October 3, 2014 [39]
14 Gifford Nielsen QB 1973–77 September 1, 2007 [39]
Ty Detmer QB 1987–91 September 1, 2007 [39]
40 Eldon Fortie QB/RB 1960–62 1963 [39]
81 Marion Probert DE 1952–54 1977 [39]

BYU and the NFL

Main article: List of BYU Cougars in the NFL draft

Pro Football Hall of Fame members

Name Position Seasons in NFL Year Inducted
Steve Young[40] QB 15 2005

Cougars as an NFL Head Coach


Historical BYU helmets on display at the Legacy Hall

From the 1970s to 1999—a period coinciding with some of the school's best and most prominent football seasons—BYU school colors were royal blue and white. The football team generally wore royal blue jerseys and white pants at home, and white jerseys and royal blue pants on the road.

In 1999, Coach Edwards' penultimate year, the school colors switched to dark blue, white, and tan, and the football helmets switched from white to dark blue. The block 'Y' remained on the sides of the helmet but received a new, more modern treatment. The home uniforms consisted of dark blue jerseys with white "bib" and dark blue pants, and the away uniforms consisted of white jerseys with white pants. These new uniforms were disliked by both the conservative fans in Provo and the NCAA, who required the team to remove the white bib on the front of the blue home jersey in 2000 (NCAA rules require that a team's jersey have a single dominant color). The home jersey thereafter was modified with blue replacing the white on the bib area.

These uniforms lasted until 2004, when a uniform new style incorporating New York Jets-style shoulder stripes was introduced (the helmets remained the same). The new uniforms were worn in a "mix-and-match" strategy—e.g., the home blue jerseys were worn with either blue or white pants and the white away jerseys were worn with either blue or white pants. This uniform incarnation lasted for only one season.

Ultimately, the traditional design with the white helmet and former logo was re-introduced for the 2005 season. While the uniforms were also changed to be similar to the 1980s uniforms, the darker blue remained instead of the former royal blue, but all tan highlights were eliminated. This change was done at the insistence of new head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who wanted to return the team to the successful traditions of the 1980s. Normally, it takes a minimum of 1–2 years to create, design and approve a uniform change. When Nike, the team's uniform supplier, said that they could not possibly make the change in just five months, former head coach and BYU legend LaVell Edwards made a call to Nike and asked them to help the new Cougar coach. Edwards had worked with Nike on several occasions since his retirement, and with the legendary coach's weight behind the request, BYU was able to take the field in 2005 in new, traditional uniforms.[41] One slight change in the uniform came in the 2007 season, when a small traditional 'Y' logo was added to the bottom of the collar.

In 2009, BYU used a throwback jersey paying tribute to the 25-year anniversary of the 1984 national championship. They were the same design as the contemporary jerseys, but used royal blue instead of navy blue. They were introduced against rival University of Utah and again in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon State.

BYU Blackout Uniforms in 2012

On October 13, 2012, BYU debuted a "blackout" jersey for a home game against Oregon State with royal blue accents and black facemasks. The endzones were also painted black for the occasion. In subsequent seasons, BYU has often had one blackout game per year.

In 2013, BYU introduced an all-royal combination (with the exception of the helmets, which remained its traditional white) against Utah. They wore it once more the following year against Utah State. The combination did not reappear until the 2018 Potato Bowl against Western Michigan.[42] In 2015, renditions of the "throwback" royal blue uniforms appeared, once in the team's Homecoming game against East Carolina, and again against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

With the hiring of Kalani Sitake as head coach at the end of 2015, BYU has seen the gradual return of wearing royal blue combinations. They initially only made appearances in rivalry and other campus event games, but from 2017 onward, they have been worn more regularly. In 2019, several new combinations were introduced, including an all-white combination with royal accents,[43] and a variation on the "away" combination with some styling changes to pay tribute to the uniforms of the 1960s.[44] This last alternate uniform was accompanied by a throwback midfield logo and an endzone paint scheme that matched the field design used by BYU in the 1960s. A more modern design of the retro combination appeared in a game at the end of the season at San Diego State.

In 2020, the team reintroduced a gray facemask that paid tribute to former Cougar and Houston Oilers quarterback Gifford Nielsen for their game at the University of Houston. The team wore the gray facemasks several times that season, which was highlighted by the most frequent usage of the royal blue in decades.

In March 2021, the program added two new helmets to their collection, with royal blue helmets paying tribute to the teams of the 1970s and navy blue helmets reminiscent of the combinations used from 1999-2004; the navy helmet especially recognized the highly successful 2001 team that featured players such as Luke Staley and Brandon Doman.


Main article: List of Brigham Young University alumni § Football

As of 2008, 146 BYU Cougars football players have gone on to play professional football. Team alumni have competed in 48 NFL Super Bowls,[45] including Super Bowl MVP Steve Young and two-time Super Bowl winner Jim McMahon. One former Cougar has won multiple Super Bowls as a coach, Andy Reid who won Super Bowl LIV, Super Bowl LVII, and Super Bowl LVIII as a head coach with the Kansas City Chiefs and Super Bowl XXXI as an assistant with the Green Bay Packers.

Future opponents

Future non-conference opponents

Future schedules as of July 4, 2023.[46]

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035
Southern Illinois Southern Utah Utah Tech SMU Ole Miss at Ole Miss Virginia Tech Stanford Michigan State at Virginia Tech Missouri
at SMU at East Carolina USF Army Coastal Carolina
at Wyoming
                                                                                                                                                                                                      vs. Madison Bulls

Future Big 12 opponents

On November 1, 2023, BYU's Big 12 opponents from 2024 through 2027 were revealed, with their rivalry game against Utah being a protected annual game. [47]

Future BYU Cougars Football Schedule
2024 2025 2026 2027
vs Arizona vs TCU vs Arizona vs Colorado
vs Houston vs UCF vs Arizona State vs Kansas
vs Oklahoma State vs Utah vs Baylor vs Texas Tech
vs Kansas vs West Virginia vs Iowa State vs Utah
vs Kansas State at Arizona vs Cincinnati at Arizona State
at Arizona State at Colorado at Kansas at Houston
at Baylor at Texas Tech at TCU at Oklahoma State
at UCF at Iowa State at UCF at Kansas State
at Utah at Cincinnati at Utah at West Virginia


See also


  1. ^ "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  2. ^ "Colors". Brigham Young University Publications and Graphics. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  3. ^ "Big 12 Extends Membership Invitations".
  4. ^ "First Brigham Young Academy football team, 1896". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "Second Brigham Young Academy football team, 1897". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "BY High School football team, 1920". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "Football game with Montana University, 1925". BYU. 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  8. ^ Lloyd, Jared (July 29, 2013). "BYU Classic Football Face-off Semifinals: BYU/SMU (1980) vs. BYU/Pitt 1984". The Daily Herald. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Minium, Harry. "Minium: Don't count on a 'Group of 5' national football championship". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  10. ^ Jorgensen, Loren (January 2, 1997). "1996 Cotton Bowl: BYU 19, Kansas State 15". Deseret News. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Hersam, Dave (16 August 1999). "New BYU logos, uniforms unveiled". The Daily Universe. Brigham Young University. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ Beck, Stephenson (November 19, 2000). "Cougar Stadium renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium". The Daily Universe. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Robinson, Doug (December 20, 2000). "Crowton learning Y. rules quickly". Deseret News. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
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