Summarized by Kent Larsen
Utah coach credits missionary program for team improvement (Money Helps U. Make It a Rivalry Again)
Salt Lake Tribune 19Nov99 S2
By Phil Miller: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The University of Utah's football coach, Ron
McBride, told the Salt Lake Tribune that missionaries are an important
part of the University's football program. And his roster shows it. The
team includes 25 returned missionaries, 7 of whom are starters.
This compares favorably to BYU's team, which includes 44 RMs, 11 of whom
start. And BYU athletic director Val Hale says this is part of the
reason Utah has improved since the 1970s and 1980s. He says McBride has
made a commitment to accomodating missionaries in his program.
McBride agrees that missionaries are important to the program,
"Missionaries are very important to us," said McBride. "If an athlete
wants to go on a mission, I have to respect that. That doesn't change
our interest in him as a football player after he returns. . . . We've
had some great missionaries on our team."