The Utah Sports Hall of Fame announced Sept. 28 that BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe will be inducted into the hall as part of a gala ceremony on Oct. 16.
“It’s a pretty humbling experience to get a call and say you’re going into that hall of fame,” Holmoe said. “I have been to the induction ceremony for years, and I’ve just always been impressed by the people that go in.”
When the announcement was made, Holmoe mentioned he might not have ended up in Utah if he had not been injured before choosing his college.
“Coming to the state of Utah was incredible,” Holmoe said. “Having that experience, to be at BYU and play football for LaVell Edwards and with my teammates was a stroke of luck.”
A native of La Crescenta, California, Holmoe was recruited by multiple universities out of high school.
Coach Edwards made his pitch for coming to Provo, and it stuck with Holmoe.
Edwards said Holmoe had a bright future at BYU and that in his third year he could break into the lineup.
Other schools promised Holmoe he could be playing as a freshman because he had that potential.
“In listening to all those coaches, in the quiet moments – because it wasn’t a slam dunk I was going to come to BYU – when it came right down to the nitty-gritty, I realized that (Coach Edwards) told me the truth,” Holmoe said. “He was the one coach that told me the truth. Something in my heart said ‘I believe in him.’ When I came to BYU, that’s the man he was.”
After a redshirt year, Holmoe saw playing time with the special teams and broke into the starting lineup in his third year at BYU, just as Edwards predicted.
Holmoe was a defensive back for the Cougars from 1978-82 and was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
In the NFL, Holmoe won three Super Bowl rings as a player with San Francisco.
After retiring from the NFL, he served as a graduate assistant under Edwards for two years before accepting a position on Stanford’s coaching staff.
In 1994, Holmoe won another Super Bowl ring with San Francisco, this time as a defensive backfield coach.
Holmoe later became the University of California’s defensive coordinator and then head coach before returning to BYU in 2001 as an associate athletic director.
All these years later, Holmoe still loves flying into Salt Lake City.
“I have the opportunity to fly around the country to meetings and games all the time, and one of my favorite feelings is flying into Salt Lake,” Holmoe said. “I don’t know if you have that feeling, but for a California kid, I thought I’d never have that feeling, that Utah is home. It’s hard to believe that the mountains, the feeling that we get being in this great state, the people that are here, the way of life that we have — it’s so special.”
The Utah Sports Hall of Fame will celebrate its 50th year and induct its 2017 honorees on Oct. 16 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.