Former BYU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Ty Detmer, reminisced about his playing career with Ben Criddle on Wednesday. Kevin Mitchell released a video earlier in the day with footage of Detmer as a player, as well as former BYU head coach, LaVell Edwards.
“The most special thing was hearing LaVell … say a prayer after a game,” Detmer told Criddle. “That meant a lot. You wish people could see more of the behind the scenes footage and things like that. The average fan doesn’t get to see those things.”
Detmer was emotional discussing his former coach, who he said, “always kept things in perspective.”
“You really have an appreciation for the team,” he said. “And for the bond that you form with guys, and the things that go on after a win — and after a loss. It’s the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.”
Detmer talked about his time as a backup at BYU and how being the son of a coach helped him understand the need for patience.
“It was fortunate to have a [quarterback competition] the year before,” he said. “To see how that plays out and how to respect the guy that you are replacing. There were some games that I came in when we were behind and won the game. As a player you wish you had more opportunities like that. In your mind, you’re like, ‘I wish I could just have a full game and not have to come in those moments all the time.’ As a player you feel like you should get your shot, but I always trusted LaVell that he was doing the best for the team.”
Now an athletic director in the Phoenix, Ariz. area, Detmer has a unique insight to how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted high school athletes and coaches.
“Our youth need outlets,” he said. “They need ways to express themselves. You’ve got teachers, you’ve got parents, you’ve got coaches, you’ve got band directors and whatever else it may be. All these lines are gone and all you have are the parents. Kids are missing that extra line of defense for them. They are missing their outlets — ways to relieve stress and frustrations that may be building up. I think everybody agrees that the kids need something. We have got to do it in a safe manner, but these kids need to have activities and need to have that interaction with each other.”
Detmer said the programs he oversees are getting closer to resuming athletic activities, with football practice set to begin on Sept. 7.
“I know everybody’s looking forward to that. It’s really put things in perspective for people, how fragile something like that can be and how much we took seasons and sports for granted.”
Written by Bridger Beal
Bridger is a student at Utah Valley University where he studies journalism and mass communication. He is the sports editor of the on-campus newspaper, The Review. Bridger is a life-long Cougar fan and college football enthusiast.