Photos: Cougar Kickoff returns to BYU after 2-year hiatus

BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua during the 17th Cougar Kickoff, Thursday, Aug. 17 at the student-athlete building in Provo. (Sean Walker,

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PROVO β€” After a brief hiatus, the Cougar Kickoff returned to BYU's lower campus with a bang Wednesday night.

Following a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic and boosted by the Education Week crowds, BYU athletics rang in the 2022-23 academic year with hundreds of fans at the Student Athlete Building football practice building.

"The Cougar Kickoff has always been the first time each season where our fans get to come out and bump shoulders with the football players and many of our other student-athletes," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. "We weren't able to do this the last two years due to COVID-19 and weather, so our fans are hungry for some Cougar Kickoff."

The event featured athletes from nearly every sport on campus, including football, basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis, baseball and softball. Several coaches were also available to sign autographs and mingle with fans such as new women's basketball coach Amber Whiting and women's volleyball coach Heather Olmstead.

Only the women's soccer team was absent in full, after flying to California for Thursday's season opener. The Cougars, ranked No. 3 in the United Soccer Coaches' preseason poll, kick off the 2022 season Thursday at Cal State Fullerton (8 p.m. MT, ESPN+).

Click through the gallery below for photos from the event.


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