Glen Tuckett, Former BYU Cougars Athletic Director, Dies At 93

Oct 26, 2021, 1:35 PM
Glen Tuckett - BYU...
Former BYU Athletic Director Glen Tuckett, June 10, 2015, in Provo. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
(Tom Smart, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Athletics community lost one of its legendary figures in Glen Tuckett. Tuckett passed away on October 25 after suffering a stroke, according to former BYU sports information director Ralph Zobell.

A native of Murray, Utah, Tuckett arrived at BYU in 1959, tabbed as the school’s baseball head coach. Before BYU, he was a baseball player for the original Salt Lake Bees. Then after his playing career concluded, he began coaching in Alberta, Canada, then back to Utah at West High School.

Coached for BYU baseball and football

Tuckett became the 10th head coach in BYU baseball history and after his 16 years managing the program, he finished as the winningest skipper, the ninth-winningest in NCAA history. BYU advanced to two College World Series’ under Tuckett’s watch in 1969 and 1971. They haven’t been back since.

Along with coaching baseball, Tuckett also worked with the football staff in the fall from 1960-1964. During those seasons, Tuckett was the freshman team coach. He was part of the staff in 1962 that hired LaVell Edwards from Granite High School to join on as an assistant.

In the summer of 1976, Tuckett was then promoted from coaching to become BYU’s athletic director replacing the legendary Stan Watts (also a native of Murray). When Tuckett stepped into the role, it signaled the beginning of a golden era for BYU Athletics.

With Tuckett running the athletic department and LaVell Edwards overseeing the football program, BYU had the right people in place to take their brand to a national level. So that’s what they did.

BYU Athletics rose to national prominence under Glen Tuckett

BYU football rose to national prominence with Edwards putting together a visionary passing attack and Tuckett brokering scheduling agreements that fans could only dream of seeing in Provo. He brought them to fruition.

Tuckett, always a brilliant speaker and communicator, was able to get games against Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Texas A&M, and countless others to play BYU. Many of which were home-and-homes with these blueblood brands rolling into Provo.

Along with big-time scheduling agreements, Tuckett oversaw BYU athletics when Cougar Stadium expanded from 35,000 seats to 65,000 in 1982. After that, it became the largest sports venue in Utah and still is to this day.

During his time as athletic director, BYU won two National Championships. The 1981 Men’s Golf title was coached by Tuckett’s good friend Karl Tucker and then football’s 1984 title. 1984 remains  BYU’s lone undefeated season on the gridiron.

In 1990, when Peter Lambos, President of the Downtown Athletic Club announced, “The winner of the 1990 Heisman Award, whose name is Ty Detmer! Ty Detmer of BYU.” Glen Tuckett was there next to Detmer and Edwards in Honolulu to celebrate the school’s first-ever Heisman Trophy winner.

Hall of Famer

Tuckett was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995. He also was inducted into the BYU and Utah Sports Hall of Fames. In 1994, Tuckett was awarded the Homer Rice Award, an award given to an athletic director who made significant and meaningful contributions to intercollegiate athletics.

The University of Alabama hired Tuckett as an interim athletic director in 1995 to help clean up the Crimson Tide’s athletic department. During that one-year stint as the interim, he helped get BYU a game against the Tide in Tuscaloosa for the 1998 season. He previously had scheduled a home-and-home with Alabama back in 1987 for the 1995 and 1996 season, but the Tide backed out due to “SEC commitments.”

After his one year as an interim AD at Alabama, Tuckett served a one-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City at the Family History Center.

According to Ralph Zobell, funeral services for Tuckett will take place on Saturday, November 6, with a viewing set for November 5.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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