Friday, March 28, 2014

BYU AD excited about home and home series with UConn

In the midst of previewing tomorrow's NCAA tournament game between UConn and Brigham Young, I was able to speak with BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe for a few minutes about the August game between the two programs which will serve as the season opener for both teams.

"It is a good game," said Holmoe, a former star defensive back at BYU who went onto be a part of three Super Bowl championship teams with the San Francisco 49ers. "As an independent, we travel all over the country. I think last year we might have had the second most miles traveled. We try to carry all the areas because BYU is a school that is a national school, kids come from all over the country and then go back. We have 350,000 living alums and there are a bunch in the Northeast. I think people will be pleased that we bring a lot of people to the game.

"UConn has had some success in recent years. They have kind of been up and down but once you've been really good then you know it, it is recent history. We fully expect them to be a competitive team and I think the two teams  will be similar and it will be a good game. Some teams won't play us home and home. We are looking forward to going out there for sure and I am sure they will enjoy (playing at BYU in 2015) it's a great place to play."

The 2014 game is set for Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN. The return game is Oct. 31, 2015 in Provo, Utah.

Holmoe gives much of the credit for jump starting talks between UConn and BYU to Dave Brown, a former vice president for programming and acquisitions at ESPN who now holds the same job for the Longhorn Network.

"When we went independent, that was one of the guys we hooked up with right away to get games," Holmoe said. "We have to schedule 12 games a year and not four so we have been trying to hook up with UConn for a couple of years. It is hard. Sometimes people think, they have an opening, you have an opening and why don't you play but looking at the different schedules, what they are looking to accomplish and what we are looking to accomplish and if that works, you overlap and try to find dates. (UConn AD) Warde (Manuel) is a friend of mine from a few years back so it is funny how each scheduling opportunity is different."


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