by Daniel Olsen | In 1875, Brigham Young Academy was founded by and named after the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Little did he know, his great-great-great-grandson would bring worldwide notoriety to the school for his athletic accomplishments a century later. Steve Young became a prolific quarterback not only for BYU, but as a two time Super Bowl Champion with the San Francisco 49ers. There are several reasons why he has done more for the BYU Athletics department than anyone. We will name just a few.
1. The quarterback is the highest regarded position in football:
Had Steve Young been an all-star punter or defensive back, let’s be honest. The average football fan would not know his name. There have been plenty of great players at other positions to come out of the state of Utah but many of them were not quarterbacks and thus aren’t a household name like Young. This played a key part in his success and notoriety for the school.
2. Steve Young is a true underdog story:
Initially, Steve Young wasn’t the greatest at throwing the football. Some coaches thought he was athletic enough to play other positions such as defensive back. However, Young worked hard to prove them wrong. He amassed 3,902 yards his senior year and set a then NCAA single-season record with a 71 percent completion percentage. In just three seasons, he threw for 7,733 yards. Had he played a fourth season, he would easily have been in the top 5 for BYU career passing yards. There are so many overlooked accomplishments he made in college because his NFL career was so great in comparison. While it would take a whole novel to list them all, we will list just a couple more:
• Davey O’Brien Award (1983)
• Led BYU to a then NCAA record 584.2 yards of total offense per game.
• Finished second in Heisman Trophy voting
• Unanimous All-American
• No. 8 jersey retired by BYU
3. His legacy didn’t end after college:
Young isn’t the average jock that peaks in high school. He hasn’t even peaked. He continues to do great stuff every day for others and for the sport of football. After college, he had a few short stints before really finding his groove as the backup behind all-time great Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers. After over a decade since graduating from BYU, he won his first Super Bowl as the starting quarterback. He had won two prior as the backup to Montana. In 1994, he was named the MVP in Super Bowl XXIX in a 49-26 route over the San Diego Chargers.
Since retiring from the NFL, Young has spoken at the 2000 Republican National Convention, started an acting career and even is an NFL Analyst for ESPN. He is often one of the lead analysts for Monday Night Football.
These are just some of the many accomplishments Young had in his life. Due to his high-profile position, huge leaps of improvement, and his continuing efforts to strive for greatness even after hanging up the cleats, Young is one of the reasons the BYU Athletic department is where it is today.