Tom Holmoe

Last updated
Tom Holmoe
Tom Holmoe (39793872002).jpg
Tom Holmoe speaking at BYU in 2017
No. 28, 46
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born: (1960-03-07) March 7, 1960 (age 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school: Crescenta Valley
College: BYU
NFL Draft: 1983  / Round: 4 / Pick: 90
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
As an administrator:
  • BYU (2005–present) (athletic director)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
INT yards:172
Fumble recoveries:4
Games played:82
Games started:7

Thomas Allen Holmoe (born March 7, 1960) is an American college athletics administrator and former football player and coach. He has been the athletic director at Brigham Young University (BYU) since 2005. Holmoe played college football at BYU and then professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the San Francisco 49ers from 1983 to 1989. He served as the head football coach at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal) from 1997 to 2001.


Playing career


Holmoe starred in both basketball and football at Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, California. He accepted a football scholarship to BYU, where he played as a cornerback and safety from 1978 to 1982. As a sophomore in 1980, he led the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) with seven interceptions, and went on to earn all-WAC honors as a senior in 1982. The Cougars won the conference championship in each of his four seasons at BYU. At BYU, he was a teammate of Super Bowl winning quarterback Jim McMahon and Super Bowl winning coach Andy Reid.


Holmoe was drafted in the fourth round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He played seven seasons for the 49ers, winning Super Bowls with the team in 1984, 1988 and 1989, before retiring due to a knee injury.

Coaching career

After retiring from playing, Holmoe entered the coaching ranks, having been urged by LaVell Edwards to return to BYU as a graduate assistant. In 1992, Holmoe accepted an offer from Bill Walsh to join his staff at Stanford University as the defensive backs coach. Holmoe remained at Stanford for two seasons, helping the 1992 Stanford Cardinal football team become the Pacific-10 Conference champions with a 10–3 overall record, including a win over Penn State in the Blockbuster Bowl.

Holmoe then returned to the 49ers, serving as George Seifert's defensive backfield coach for two seasons, where he coached such players as Deion Sanders, Merton Hanks and Eric Davis. As defensive backfield coach, he won a fourth Super Bowl in 1994. In 1996, Holmoe joined the staff at Cal as defensive coordinator under Steve Mariucci.

Following Mariucci's departure to the NFL in 1997, Holmoe was named his successor. Holmoe, by his own admission, was an unsuccessful head coach. [1] During his five-year tenure at Cal, he compiled a 16–39 record overall with a 9–31 mark in Pac-10 play. His final season, 2001, saw the Golden Bears finish 1-10, then the worst season in school history (the Bears went 1-11 in 2013). Holmoe went 0–5 against rival Stanford and failed to reach a bowl game. Holmoe resigned at the end of the 2001 season.

Shortly afterward, the Bears were found guilty of major NCAA violations when it emerged that a professor retroactively added two football players to a class he had taught the previous spring in order to keep them eligible. Athletic department officials knew that the players were ineligible, but did not disclose it to anyone. [2] As a result, the NCAA slapped Cal with five years' probation, stripped the Bears of their four victories from the 1999 season, banned them from postseason play in 2002, and took away nine scholarships over four years. [3] When Jeff Tedford led the Bears to a 7–5 record in 2002, they were not allowed to play in a bowl game.

Athletic administration

After resigning from Cal, Holmoe returned to BYU to serve as associate athletic director. In March 2005, he was appointed as BYU's 12th athletic director, and the first to oversee both men's and women's athletics (previously women's sports had its own athletic director). Under Holmoe's leadership, the Cougars have achieved success, winning 14 conference championships in the 2006–07 academic year alone and many others in subsequent years.

Holmoe has had notable successes with his head coaching hires, including for football and men's basketball. He hired head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, who returned BYU's football team to national prominence, and head men's basketball coach Dave Rose, who led BYU's men's basketball team to consistent conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. Following Bronco Mendenhall's departure to the University of Virginia and Dave Rose's retirement, Holmoe hired Kalani Sitake as head football coach and Mark Pope as men's head basketball coach, both of whom have led their teams to Top 25 national rankings in the end-of-season AP polls.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, BYU's independent football schedule was drastically altered at the last minute as several conferences decided to play league-only games. Holmoe had to quickly piece together a full season of games. He was able to fill BYU's schedule and the team finished the year 11-1 and ranked #11 in the end-of-season AP Poll. [4] His efforts were recognized by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) who awarded him with the 2020-2021 Athletics Director of the Year award. [5]

On September 10, 2021, BYU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference for all sports. [6] Holmoe was instrumental in positioning the Cougars for the invitation, having petitioned the Big 12 for membership in 2016 and again in 2021. [7]

Personal life

Holmoe is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, converting from Lutheranism six years after leaving BYU. [8] He lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife Lori and their four children. Holmoe's brother, Steve, a physical education teacher and assistant football coach at Glendale High School, was a strong safety at UCLA before sustaining a career-ending injury.

Head coaching record

California Golden Bears (Pacific-10 Conference)(1997–2001)
1997 California 3–81–79th
1998 California 5–63–57th
1999 California 0–7*0–5*T–6th
2000 California 3–82–6T–8th
2001 California 1–100–810th

*Cal finished 4–7 (3–5 in conference), but later vacated the wins due to use of ineligible players

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steve Mariucci</span> American football coach and analyst

Stephen Ray Mariucci, nicknamed "Mooch", is an American sportscaster and former football coach who was the head coach of two National Football League (NFL) teams, the San Francisco 49ers (1997–2002) and the Detroit Lions (2003–2005), and for a year at the University of California, Berkeley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Coast Conference</span> College athletics conference

The West Coast Conference (WCC) — known as the California Basketball Association from 1952 to 1956 and then as the West Coast Athletic Conference until 1989 — is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with NCAA Division I consisting of nine member schools across the states of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Ty Hubert Detmer is an American former professional football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL). He won the Heisman Trophy in 1990 while playing college football for the BYU Cougars. Detmer broke numerous NCAA records with BYU, and was twice recognized as a consensus All-American. A late-round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, Detmer played for six NFL teams over 14 seasons, mostly in a backup role. He is currently the head football coach for the American Leadership–Queen Creek Patriots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeff Tedford</span> American football player and coach (born 1961)

Jeffrey Raye Tedford is an American football coach and former player who is currently serving as the head coach at Fresno State, a position he also held from 2017 to 2019. From 2002 to 2012, Tedford was the head football coach at California, where he was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and holds the California program records for most wins, games coached, and bowl game victories.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">LaVell Edwards</span> American football player and coach (1930–2016)

Reuben LaVell Edwards was an American football head coach for Brigham Young University (BYU). With 257 career victories, he ranks as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Among his many notable accomplishments, Edwards guided BYU to a national championship in 1984 and coached Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer in 1990.

The 1980 Holiday Bowl was a college football bowl game played December 19, 1980, in San Diego, California. It was part of the 1980 NCAA Division I-A football season. The game is famous due to a furious fourth quarter rally—including a last-second "miracle" touchdown—that gave BYU a 46–45 victory over SMU. Thus, the game is known as the “Miracle Bowl”, especially among BYU fans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bronco Mendenhall</span> American football player and coach (born 1966)

Marc Bronco Clay Mendenhall is an American football coach for the University of New Mexico (UNM) Lobos in Albuquerque. He previously coached at the University of Virginia. He stepped down after the 2021 season. Mendenhall joined Virginia in 2015 after spending the previous eleven seasons as the head football coach at Brigham Young University (BYU). He has a career record of 135 victories and 81 losses and has recorded fourteen postseason bowl game appearances with seven victories.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football</span> University of Hawaii football team

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team represents the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in NCAA Division I FBS college football. It was part of the Western Athletic Conference until July 2012, when the team joined the Mountain West Conference.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">California Golden Bears football</span> University of California, Berkeley football team

The California Golden Bears (Cal) football program represents the University of California, Berkeley in college football as a member of the Pac-12 Conference at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team plays its home games at California Memorial Stadium and is coached by Justin Wilcox. Since beginning of play in 1886, the team has won five NCAA recognized national titles - 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1937 and 14 conference championships, the last one in 2006. It has also produced what are considered to be two of the oddest and most memorable plays in college football: Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels' fumble recovery at the 1929 Rose Bowl and The Play kickoff return in the 1982 Big Game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BYU Cougars football</span> College football program representing Brigham Young University

The BYU Cougars football team is the college football program representing Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. The Cougars began collegiate football competition in 1922, and have won 23 conference championships and one national championship in 1984.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">San Diego State Aztecs football</span> Mountain West college team

The San Diego State Aztecs football team represents San Diego State University in the sport of American football. The Aztecs compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the West Division of the Mountain West Conference (MW). They are coached by Brady Hoke and started playing at the new Snapdragon Stadium in 2022. They have won 21 conference championships and three national championships at the small college division.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BYU Cougars</span> Intercollegiate sports teams of Brigham Young University

The BYU Cougars are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah. BYU fields 21 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) varsity athletic teams. They are a member of the Big 12 Conference for all sports except men's volleyball which is a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. They were a member of the West Coast Conference from 2011 to 2022. From 1999 to 2011 they were a member of the Mountain West Conference and before the formation of the MW, the Cougars competed in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Mountain States Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference. BYU officially joined the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">BYU Cougars men's basketball</span> American college basketball team

The BYU Cougars men's basketball team represents Brigham Young University in NCAA Division I basketball play. Established in 1902, the team has won 27 conference championships, 3 conference tournament championships and 2 NIT Tournaments, and competed in 29 NCAA tournaments. It currently competes in the Big 12 Conference. From 1999 to 2011, the team competed in the Mountain West Conference, followed by 12 seasons in the West Coast Conference. On September 10, 2021, the Big 12 Conference unanimously accepted BYU's application for membership, and BYU officially joined the conference for the 2023–24 season.

Kelaokalani Fifita "Kalani" Sitake is a Tongan–American football coach and former player. He has been the head football coach at Brigham Young University (BYU) since December 2015, and is the first Tongan to become a collegiate football head coach. Sitake played college football as a fullback at BYU under coach LaVell Edwards, and graduated in 2000. Prior to becoming head coach at BYU, Sitake was the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at the University of Utah, and the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Oregon State University.

The 2011 Pac-12 Conference football season began on September 1, 2011 with Montana State at Utah and UC Davis at Arizona State. The conference's first game was played on September 10 with Utah at USC, and the final game played was the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, December 2. Oregon defeated UCLA to claim their third straight conference title. This is the first season for the conference as a 12-team league. In July 2011, Colorado and Utah joined the conference, at which time the league's name changed from the Pacific-10 Conference.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2012 BYU Cougars football team</span> American college football season

The 2012 BYU Cougars football team represented Brigham Young University in the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Cougars, led by head coach Bronco Mendenhall, played their home games at LaVell Edwards Stadium. This was the second year BYU competed as an independent. They finished the season 8–5. They were invited to the Poinsettia Bowl where they defeated San Diego State.

The 2015 Las Vegas Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game played on December 19, 2015, at Sam Boyd Stadium in the Las Vegas suburb of Whitney, Nevada. The 24th edition of the Las Vegas Bowl featured the BYU Cougars against the Utah Utes, earning the game the moniker the Holy War in Sin City. The game sold out 24 hours after the matchup was announced. It began at 12:30 p.m. PST and aired on ABC. It was one of the 2015–16 bowl games that concluded the 2015 FBS football season. Sponsored by lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple, it was officially known as the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 California Golden Bears football team</span> American college football season

The 2018 California Golden Bears football team represented the University of California, Berkeley in the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Bears went 7–6 during Justin Wilcox's second year as head coach. The Bears upset #15 Washington 12–10 and defeated USC 15–14 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles to snap a 15-year losing streak to the Trojans, but at the same time, they also snapped a 18-year losing streak to USC in the Coliseum. They lost 10–7 in overtime to TCU in the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl.

The history of California Golden Bears football began in 1886, the team has won five NCAA recognized national titles - 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1937 and 14 conference championships, the last one in 2006.


  1. Everson, Darren (August 29, 2008). "A Saner Approach to College Football". The Wall Street Journal . p. W1. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  2. University of California, Berkeley Public Infractions Report. NCAA: June 26, 2002.
  3. Fernas, Rob (June 27, 2002). "Cal Is Hit With Bowl Ban". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  4. "AP Top 25 College Football Poll, Rankings: 2020 Final". 12 January 2021.
  5. "NACDA Announces 2020-21 Athletics Directors of the Year".
  6. "Big 12 Extends Membership Invitations".
  7. "With BYU in the Big 12, athletic director Tom Holmoe reaches 'legendary status' in Provo".
  8. Fleming, David (2019-10-01). "Inside Andy Reid's life of tall tales: Tighty-whities, 40-ounce steaks and more". ESPN. Retrieved 2019-10-01.