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Dear Cougar Fans,

As I sit down to write this message of gratitude to you, I am in home isolation as a result of COVID-19, the virus that has had such a tremendous effect on everyone’s life. Athletically speaking, effects of the virus caused the shutdown of all sporting events throughout the WORLD! Unfortunately, that meant winter and spring seasons in the NCAA were halted and our BYU Cougars competing at that point (Men’s Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men’s Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Gymnastics, Men’s and Women’s Golf, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, and Men’s and Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field) were over. I can’t imagine anyone reading this could ever have imagined such a surreal ending to a year in college sports.

Regardless of the unprecedented ending, our Cougars had one of the best overall years in BYU Athletics history and were on track to finish the year in the Top 10 (at least!) in the Director’s Cup final standings. The final fall standings found BYU in 5th place, just 25 points out of 3rd with most of the remaining Cougar teams zeroed in on deep runs in their respective NCAA tournaments.

I prefer not to look at this year and what it could have been; rather, I prefer to remember this unusual year as one in which most of our teams were competing with the best of the best programs in the country. The highlight of the year was the National Championship won by our Men’s Cross Country team, the 11th national title in BYU sports history. Coach Ed Eyestone was named National Coach of the Year and multiple runners received All-America honors. The BYU Women’s Cross Country team almost pulled off the daily-double with a second place finish only six points behind the winners. Multiple All-Americans, conference players and coaches of the year, and all-conference performers led the way to championships and great seasons for the Cougs!

This certainly was a season to remember and not just for our student-athletes and coaches. Our beloved fans who make up the ever-growing and powerful Cougar Nation supported BYU Athletics in innumerable ways. BYU Cougar fans have earned much respect from our competitors far and wide as they continue to show up in droves anywhere in the country and especially at home contests. BYU’s home-field advantage is known by all these days and is constantly touted by visiting media. What a tribute to the best fan base in America!

Not only do our fans show up in support of our Cougs, they generously give the much-needed financial backing that paves the way for our teams’ success. I would hug y’all if I could (social distancing?), but in the meantime, please feel my deepest and most sincere thanks for all you do for BYU Athletics. We are not done. We will fight back from this forced “timeout” and return Loyal, Strong & True to our dear fans.

Go Cougs!
Tom Holmoe
Director of Athletics
Brigham Young University