Football at BYU

Football got its start at Brigham Young University in 1896 while it was still Brigham Young Academy.

1896 Football team

1896 Football team

The first team played six games and one of their victims was the University of Utah whom they beat 12-0.  The Academy fielded a team every year until 1900 when football was banned from all Church schools as the result of an accidental death in Utah.  Football was not resumed at Brigham Young University until 1919 and even then it was only an intramural sport.  Intercollegiate football games were resumed in 1920 and have been a consistent part of the BYU experience since then.  The students were quite enthusiastic about the reinstatement of football.

The football leaves for a game, 1920

The football team leaves for a game, 1920

The University Archives holds several collections that allow researchers to study the early history of football at Brigham Young Academy and Brigham Young University.  They include:

  • UA 148    Correspondence of the Brigham Young University Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees, 1907-1922. This collection contains correspondence documenting the reinstatement of football at BYU.
  • UA 544    Brigham Young University. Department of Physical Education records, 1920-1980. This collection contains football programs and other material related to the football program.  Click here to see the register for this collection.
  • UA 113     Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference records, 1919-1937. This collection contains information on the first conference that Brigham Young University football was affiliated with.
  • UA 1029   Brigham Young University Athletic photographs, 1893-1989. This collection contains photographs of the Brigham Young University football teams from 1896-1980.  Click here to see the register for this collection.

These are only a few of the many collections containing information on football at Brigham Young University that are held by the University Archives. If you would like to know more, please contact the University Archivist at or (801) 422-5821.

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