Tom Holmoe meets with the press to discuss Bronco Mendenhall contract extension and BYU/Utah rivalry

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BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe met with the press Wed., May 29, to discuss the 2012–13 athletic year and to look forward to the future.

Holmoe addressed concerns about head football coach Bronco Mendenhall’s expiring contract. He also talked about coaching staff changes, the BYU/Utah rivalry and what the fans can expect from the football team this upcoming season.

Tom Holmoe speaks at last year's Football Media Day. (Photo by Chris Bunker.)
Tom Holmoe speaks at last year’s Football Media Day. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

With regards to Mendenhall’s contract, Holmoe confirmed that nothing has been finalized.

“We are in the talks,” Holmoe said. “Those talks were not strictly about contract but more about what changes would be taking place (with the coaching staff), and then from there we’ve probably had a couple other conversations about what (Mendenhall’s) looking for, what I’m looking for and how we can best meet the needs of each other. … A contract is not in anybody’s court yet.”

Holmoe stated that there is no real time frame on when they want to finalize Mendenhall’s contract.

“(Mendenhall’s) contract runs out at the end of this year,” Holmoe continued, “So he has a season ahead, but I think we’re in a good place.”

Holmoe does not see any reason why Mendenhall would not want to extend his contract.

“There have been some tough times that (Mendenhall’s) kind of gone through, like most coaches do,” Holmoe said. “But I do sense … that he feels a little bit better about the team and the future. He likes where he’s at right now. I think mentally, emotionally, physically, he’s in good spirits.”

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Head football coach Bronco Mendenhall is entering his final contract year with BYU. (Photo courtesy BYU Photo)

Holmoe feels that the changes on the offensive coaching staff have all been very positive, and he gave all the credit to Mendenhall.

“In this particular case, as in most cases, it’s (Mendenhall’s) call; these are not my calls,” Holmoe said. “At some point in the season he was feeling that there needed to be changes made with the program. … I could sense that there would be changes.”

Holmoe also credited Mendenhall for bringing Robert Anae’s name forward as a candidate for the offensive coordinator position.

“Bronco brought that to me and said, ‘Hey, what do you think about this thought?'” Holmoe said. “And I said, ‘I think it’s a good thought,’ and he basically took it from there.”

Football fans all over Utah have been wondering what the future holds for the rivalry game between BYU and the University of Utah. Holmoe addressed the scheduling difficulties the schools now have with Utah being in the PAC-12 and having to abide by the conferences rules, and BYU being independent having to schedule carefully. Holmoe is very hopeful for the future of the rivalry, however.

“It’s going to happen,” Holmoe said. “I want to play, Bronco wants to play. … I can’t speak for (Kyle Whittingham) because I haven’t talked to him, but I know that (Chris Hill, Utah’s athletic director) wants to play. We wouldn’t be having discussions if they didn’t want to get it done.”

Conference realignment has slowed considerably, and even though BYU’s name comes up a lot, Holmoe said BYU is not actively pursuing a conference spot.

“Independence is good; there’s some real positives about it,” Holmoe said. “I think that the TV exposure has been great … and it’s better than I thought it would be.”

With arguably the hardest schedule BYU has ever played just around the corner, Holmoe is optimistic.

“I think we’ll be good,” Holmoe said. “A lot relies on our health. … I think our front line guys are good, our starters. We don’t have as much depth as some of the bigger teams that we’re playing. … So if we stay healthy I think that would bode well for a good year.”

For more on all topics addressed at the conference, see the additional notes and quotes.

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