Abraham Lincoln treated BYU students with a rare sighting last Halloween.
Complete with top hat and coat, the realistic costume left students wondering whose face was really under the beard. It was none other than BYU’s athletic director, Tom Holmoe, who has dressed up for Halloween in past years.
“When I was a kid, I loved Halloween, and my mom was really creative,” Holmoe said. “So, we always had great costumes and ideas. I loved trick-or-treating in my hometown. It was a huge thing. Me and my friends, we always dressed up.”
Holmoe grew up in La Crescenta, California, where Halloween was always a big holiday to celebrate. Upon moving to Utah, he found that the culture is different.
Holmoe also noted that Utah isn’t a big dress-up culture.
“Since I’ve dressed up, I’ve noticed more of my associates have dressed up,” Holmoe said. “Kind of gives them a little permission to let their hair down and kind of get a little crazy.”
The holiday differences he found in Utah haven’t stopped Holmoe from making sure people, especially kids, have fun during this time. He has even set up a trick-or-treating event for BYU Athletic Department employees and their families.
“Our department people come up and bring their kids and grandkids dressed up,” Holmoe said. “I like seeing the kids as much as dressing up myself. It’s good to have fun, and that’s one of the reasons why I do it is, because it’s good to have fun around here.”
Holmoe did not start the BYU costume tradition on his own; he had help from the BYU women’s soccer team.
“Our women’s soccer team is the one that got me to dress up years ago, because they have a tradition that they always dress up, and they actually have a light practice in their costumes,” Holmoe said. “So, I basically try to dress up on the day that they do.”
Holmoe won’t be on campus on Oct. 31. He will be with the team as it travels to play Middle Tennessee on Nov. 1.
Holmoe still plans on dressing up with the women’s soccer team, however.
“If I do this year, it’s going to be on the day that they have their Halloween practice,” Holmoe said. “It won’t be on Halloween day, but I’m still working on it.”
Holmoe has been Frankenstein, Justin Bieber and Lincoln in the past couple of years. Does he have anything up his sleeve this year, despite needing to dress up early?
“Ya, I do,” Holmoe said. “But I have to keep them secret. When I showed up as Abe Lincoln, people freaked out because they didn’t know who I was, and that’s the key. I have three ideas that I’m trying to narrow it down to … it’ll be good.”
Holmoe wouldn’t reveal or give clues to his final costume choices. So, on the days coming up to Halloween, make sure to keep an open eye to anything strange on campus, especially around the athletic building. It may be Holmoe dressing up again this year.
Have any guesses or suggestion about what Tom Holmoe will be? Leave a comment below, and if you see him, snap a picture for us.