He holds the record for most points ever scored by a Boise State football player. If you heard his name, however, the only thing you’d remember is one fateful night which changed his life.
Nov. 26, 2010, No. 4 Boise State was taking on the Nevada Wolfpack in Reno, Nevada. The Broncos were just a few wins away from playing in their third BCS bowl game in five years and had aspirations for playing in a national championship-until the unthinkable happened: Kyle Brotzman missed two field goals and the Boise State Broncos saw their BCS hopes shattered and their 24- game winning streak broken.
“It was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking,” Brotzman said.
No matter how many records he broke, Brotzman’s legacy began here.
“He could always put things away and shove them away,” father Hank Brotzman said. “This one, though, has bothered him for a long time and has kept on coming back at him more than what I even realized.”
Shortly after the game, Brotzman and his family received harassing phone calls and Facebook messages threatening his life.
“It was easy for those people to say all that stuff behind his back,” older brother Michael Brotzman said. “It’s easy for people to say stuff over the phone or online and I bet they wouldn’t have said it to his face.”
According to his mother Julie Brotzman, he still gets emails at least once a month in relation to the field goals.
Brotzman’s career has been much more than missed field goals, however. He was the hero in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl in which he threw a pass on a fake punt which set up a game-winning touchdown. He also ranks second in NCAA history for points scored with 439 points.
“People forget about all of his achievements because of those kicks,” Julie Brotzman said. “He still holds several records but people forget about all of those.”
Had the kicks gone in, Brotzman feels his career might have been different.
“I’ve thought about that for almost four years now and I still don’t know,” Brotzman said. “If it would have gone in then maybe things would have been different and I would have gotten workouts with NFL teams. That isn’t for me to say, though.”
Despite everything that he had to endure, he hasn’t let the events of that night define who he is.
Since then, Brotzman has gone on to play in the Arena Football League and hopes to play in the Canadian Football League one day.
“I am still the same person I always was and can still play,” Brotzman said. “That event didn’t define what my career was here; it made me a better person in the long run. Two kicks don’t define me.”
Brotzman just recently moved back to Boise from Utah and is waiting to see what his future in football may hold.
In the meantime though he is working over at Costco and if things don’t work out with football he would like to become a firefighter or become involved in helping kids deal with bullying.
“I can go out in public and I hear, ‘we love you’,” Brotzman said. “At my work when someone recognizes who I am, they shake my hand and don’t have a bad thing to say.”
Despite everything that’s happened, he still has a special place in his heart for Boise State University.
“I still have love for Bronco nation and I had just such a great time here,” Brotzman said. “You can’t change that.”
For Brotzman, the future does indeed look bright and the legacy he left at Boise State was far greater than that night in Reno.
“What’s next for Kyle Brotzman is whatever he decides on,” younger brother Bryon Brotzman said.