Tim McTyer: I Miss BYU

Soon after Bronco Mendenhall took over as BYU's new head football coach, he had his players lay on the grass in LaVell Edwards Stadium and listen to some of the glorious moments in BYU football history. He made sure his players knew what their Cougar predecessors had done to make BYU great. Defensive back Tim McTyer was a key contributor on one of those special Cougar squads.

Ten years after the 1996 season in which BYU went 14-1, won the Cotton Bowl, and finished in the top five in the nation, defensive back Tim McTyer reflects on that season and sees hope and promise for the new generation of Cougars.

"I'm glad BYU is playing so well, but more importantly, I'm glad they are playing with pride," said McTyer. "It reminds me of the days when I played. We had pride in this program and wanted to preserve the tradition, and I understand why that's so important now as an alumni.

"It also shows that Bronco was the right man for the job at BYU. In the coaching world, if the program is not doing well, it's always on the coach, no matter what happens. It felt good to see that old ‘Y' on the helmets again. It was the first sign to me that they were heading in the right direction."

McTyer does not watch as many games as he wants to because he is not in an area that gets the mtn.. He still could not help but smile when he saw the BYU-Utah highlights on ESPN.

"I didn't see the Utah game, but I did see the ending," he said "I was happy to see BYU beat Utah, and it's always a pleasure to have that bragging right – even all the way out here in California. It brought back some memories of the '96 season, beating Utah helped us as a team to gain confidence in one another, especially beating the Utes in Salt Lake City. It's a different environment."

McTyer was also disturbed by BYU's play on defense the last couple of years. He felt a little let down, but now, as he watched BYU's top ten defense this year, McTyer proudly declared, "That's the BYU I know."

He noticed something different about Cougar defenders in recent years, and it bothered him.

"These last couple of years, they haven't played with that attitude, you know, that killer instinct," said McTyer. "It helped for everyone to have that attitude of not letting anything get by you on defense, because when everyone on the " has that attitude, it makes you more comfortable with each other and lets you take chances with out fearing that you were going to get beat or out-schemed by the opposing coaches."

McTyer was happy to see a little more life and attitude in his Cougars this season and can't wait to see some of the promising recruits in action next year. Most of all, McTyer says he misses BYU and the time he spent in Provo.

"I was just talking to Omar Morgan the other day," said McTyer. "We were just talking about the good times at the Y. We all still keep in touch, Morgan, Sark and Ellison. We created bonds at BYU that I don't know can be broken. We were like brothers out there."

"What I miss overall is the college atmosphere in Provo. Just playing every week like it's a championship game. That '96 season, we as a team loved the pressure that came with knowing that a loss meant that we were going to get booted out of the polls and threatened our chances of getting a bowl game. We loved to hear critics say every week that we were going to lose or that the slipper will fall off soon."

"What I really miss are the team meetings we would have in the hotel every week to show the highlights of the previous weeks, and at the end of tape there was a message and it said "VIVA LAS VEGAS" our goal was to make it to Las Vegas to play for the WAC championship, it was always one goal at a time for us."

"I also miss watching LaVell on the sidelines with his arms folded or that little smirk he would give you when you hit his funny spot, or when he shot a joke in on you. I loved playing for him and for BYU. It will mean something to me, always."

After BYU, McTyer turned his sights to the NFL. He went to play for the Indianapolis Colts as a rookie and had "the hit of the week" on ESPN. He also had an interception go for 53 yards that same game. He later went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles from 97-98 and was selected in the first round of the 1999 expansion draft to the Cleveland Browns.

Tim McTyer currently has an 11-year-old son, Torry, and a 5-year-old daughter Tatiana and is finishing up some schooling at American Intercontinental University in media production for film editing, directing, music production and engineering.

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