Cougar athletic director retires

Glen Tuckett looks back on '34-year love affair' with BYU athletics

It's doubtful anyone has done more for athletics at Brigham Young University than Glen Tuckett.

"The mark Glen Tuckett has left on BYU athletics is remarkable," said BYU Pres. Rex E. Lee during a press conference where it was announced that Tuckett would be retiring as athletic director on Aug. 31. He will be succeeded by BYU administrator Clayne Jensen.Tuckett, 65, has been athletic director the past 17 years. The 17 years before that he was BYU's baseball coach, where he became the ninth winningest coach in the NCAA with a 489-258 record.

"I've had a 34-year love affair with Brigham Young University and particularly with BYU athletics," Tuckett said during a sometimes emotional address at the press conference on Feb. 4.

"I've been blessed with a very loving Heavenly Father. Like Nephi, I was born of goodly parents," he said, acknowledging the presence of his mother, Bessie, of whom he said, "Like Abraham Lincoln, I owe everything to an angel mother."

By Tuckett's side was his wife, Jo. He left no doubt as to the role she plays in his life. "I've made some good decisions in life and the greatest and the best is when I asked Josephine Whittaker to be my wife." They have four daughters, Alison, Shannon, Kendall and Erin.

He lauded those he has worked with during his tenure at BYU - the board of trustees, administrators, fellow coaches and athletes.

"The Brethren have been so supportive," he said.

He recalled some advice he received from then-BYU vice president Ben E. Lewis: "Don't go over your budget; don't cheat; and don't lose."

He was modest about his accomplishments, which include expanding Cougar Stadium from 30,000 to 65,000 seats in 1982, allowing BYU to schedule such big-time schools as Notre Dame, Penn State and Miami. "It's been easy because of what they (previous athletic directors) have done."

Also making things easy for him are the coaches, he said. "At BYU overall we have the finest coaching staff in America."

And he feels the same way about the student athletes. He's convinced that if you take 10, 12, 14 or whatever number of athletes at BYU and compare them with the same number at any other school, you won't find a finer group than those representing the Cougars.

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