Ultimately, it’s just cloth. But to those who participated in the BYU intramural program, the cotton trophy is so much more.
“It’s the most-coveted shirt on campus,” says Spencer P. Holmes (BS ’18), who played on 30 intramural teams at BYU and owns eight intramural-champion T-shirts.
Given to intramural victors since 1974, the tee gained instant traction—“a long-standing tradition that is here to stay,” says BYU Intramural Office director Philip D. Kelly (BS ’90, MA ’92)
Over the 2018–19 school year, the intramural office handed out 1,237 shirts to tournament winners in everything from soccer to pickleball to inner-tube water polo.
The record number of shirts won? It’s hard to ferret out, but until we hear otherwise, our research points to alum Nathan L. Metcalf (BA ’10) with 18 (and he placed second in seven more championship games).
Alum Gregory D. Dibb (BS ’99) holds the record for intramural activities: 38 in one year—every one offered. “Backgammon and arm wrestling were among the most memorable,” says Dibb, whose 10 champ tees are memorialized in a quilt made by his wife, Melinda, whom he proposed to with a scavenger hunt that included a stop in the intramural office, where director Kelly gave her a championship tee of her own.
It’s a rare freebie in the history of BYU intramurals. As the 2000 T-shirt design says, “You can’t buy this shirt. You have to earn it.”