The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
On the roster of the University of Utah’s first football team, in the late 1800s, was a handsome right guard who would make a name for himself far beyond the college gridiron — David O. McKay, who would become the Church’s ninth president.
Since that maiden season when a young David McKay shored up the offensive line, Utah’s football squad and the Church have enjoyed a rich history — stretching right up to the 2021 Ute squad preparing to play in the Rose Bowl, “The Granddaddy of Them All,” on New Year’s Day.
Many of the Pac-12 champion Utes competing Saturday afternoon vs. Ohio State are Latter-day Saints — including approximately two dozen returned missionaries. Several of Utah’s most celebrated players — including Mika Tafua, Britain Covey and Junior Tafuna — interrupted their playing careers to serve missions.
Meanwhile, the team’s sideline leader, Pac-12 Coach of the Year Kyle Whittingham, is a Church member, along with several others on the coaching staff — including defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley and Sione Po’uha, a former NFL lineman and bishop.
It’s a certainty that at some point in the fast-approaching Rose Bowl, someone from the ESPN broadcast crew will reference the Church and missionary service.
A legacy of Latter-day Saint Utes
President McKay is not the only latter-day Apostle who played for the university that was founded in 1850 by Brigham Young.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.