BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe reached out to Cougar fans in an online letter and thanked them for their support during a promising 2019-20 season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This certainly was a season to remember and not just for our student-athletes and coaches,” Holmoe said. “Our beloved fans who make up the ever-growing and powerful Cougar Nation supported BYU Athletics in innumerable ways.”

The letter, which was included as part of BYU Athletics’ Annual Report, tells fans the Cougars had “one of the best overall years in BYU Athletics history” before the pandemic forced all winter and spring sports to end their seasons prematurely.

“I can’t imagine anyone reading this could ever have imagined such a surreal ending to a year in college sports,” Holmoe said.

Holmoe stated the Cougars were on track to finish in the top 10 in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup final standings, something the school had never accomplished previously. BYU finished fifth in the cup’s final fall standings with several winter and spring teams primed to make deep WCC and NCAA tournament runs.

The men’s basketball team, which finished the 2019-20 campaign with a 24-8 record under first-year head coach Mark Pope, was optimistic of receiving a single-digit seed in the Big Dance and making it past the opening round for the first time since 2011. The men’s volleyball team was favored to win a national championship, finishing the season ranked No. 1 in the country.

The indoor and outdoor track and field teams were expected to make noise in their respective NCAA tournaments while the baseball, softball, gymnastics, golf and tennis teams all had WCC Championship aspirations.

Holmoe, however, warned against wondering what could have been and urged fans to remember the highs from the 2019-20 season, such as the national championship won by the men’s cross country team.

The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams pose with trophies after taking first and second, respectively, at the 2019 NCAA Championships. BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe told Cougar fans in a recent online letter that the men’s team’s national championship was the ‘highlight of the year.’ (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

“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,” Holmoe said. “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.”

Holmoe concluded the letter by once again thanking fans for their physical and financial support of BYU’s athletic programs.

“I would hug y’all if I could (social distancing),” Holmoe wrote. “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 and true to our dear fans.”

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