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provo, utah» LaVell Ed­wards, who led BYU to national promi­nence with his dy­namic pass­ing of­fenses and be­came one of the most suc­cess­ful coaches in col­lege foot­ball his­tory, died Thurs­day. He was 86.

Ed­wards coached the Cougars for 29 sea­sons be­fore re­tir­ing in 2000. He had a record of 257-101-3, the sev­en­th­most wins in FBS his­tory. His teams won or shared 19 con­fer­ence ti­tles and played in 22 bowl games. His 1984 team fin­ished 13-0 and was voted national cham­pion, and he was in­ducted into the Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame in 2004.

“LaVell was one of the best friends that I had in the coach­ing world,” said Tom Os­borne, who won three national ti­tles as Ne­braska’s coach and whose triple-op­tion of­fense was the po­lar op­po­site of Ed­wards’ dy­namic pass­ing at­tack. “He had a great sense of hu­mor and was al­ways well­grounded and fun to be around.

“BYU had a dis­tinct iden­tity un­der LaVell. They were a pass­ing team be­fore it be­came stylish, but many did not re­al­ize that they had a very good run­ning game as well.”

Ed­wards be­came BYU’s coach in 1972, tak­ing over a pro­gram that had only 14 win­ning sea­sons in 49 years. BYU won 10 con­sec­u­tive West­ern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence ti­tles from 197685 and played in 17 con­sec­u­tive bowl games from 1978-94.

Ed­wards’ star quar­ter­backs in­cluded Marc Wilson, Jim McMa­hon, Steve Young and 1990 Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner Ty Det­mer, now the Cougars’ of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

“Coach Ed­wards had an im­pact on so many lives, and not just as coach but as a per­son,” said cur­rent BYU coach Kalani Si­take, who played for Ed­wards at BYU. “So many peo­ple — play­ers, coaches, fans, the en­tire BYU fam­ily, coach­ing col­leagues and op­po­nents — will tell you they are a bet­ter per­son be­cause of him, and I’m def­i­nitely one of them. We all love LaVell and ap­pre­ci­ate the amaz­ing legacy he leaves with each of us.”

Ed­wards was a two-time national coach of the year (1979 and 1984). BYU’s home games are played at LaVell Ed­wards Sta­dium.

Ser­ena en­gaged.

Ten­nis star Ser­ena Wil­liams is ty­ing the knot.

Wil­liams an­nounced her en­gage­ment to Alexis Oha­nian, post­ing a poem on Red­dit that she ac­cepted the pro­posal from the so­cial news web­site’s co-founder.

Wil­liams’ agent, Jill Smoller, con­firmed the en­gage­ment in an e-mail to The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Weightlifter dies af­ter bar­bell drop

B ankeny, iowa » A 22-year-old man died af­ter a bar­bell slipped from his grasp and crushed his neck at a gym in cen­tral Iowa. The ac­ci­dent oc­curred Mon­day at the Elite Edge Trans­for­ma­tion Cen­ter in Ankeny, about 10 miles north of Des Moines.

A spokesman for the cen­ter, Mark Yontz, said Kyle Thom­son was bench­press­ing 315 pounds when the bar­bell slipped.

World Cup sta­dium fin­ished

B st. peters­burg, rus­sia » A sta­dium in St. Peters­burg that will host a 2018 World Cup semi­fi­nal match has been com­pleted af­ter many con­struc­tion de­lays and cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

The sta­dium, pro­vi­sion­ally called the Zenit Arena, took al­most a decade to build, prompt­ing Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev to pub­licly call it “dis­grace­ful.”


France’s Alexis Pin­tu­rault matched French ski­ing roy­alty by win­ning an alpine com­bined race Thurs­day in Santa Ca­te­rina Val­furva, Italy. Pin­tu­rault joined Jean-Claude Killy with a French-record 18th World Cup vic­tory.

Pin­tu­rault edged over­all World Cup leader Mar­cel Hirscher of Aus­tria by 0.34 sec­onds in the event, which com­bined the times from one su­per-G run and one slalom run.

Pin­tu­rault stood third, be­hind Alek­sander Aamodt Kilde and Hirscher, af­ter the su­per-G por­tion of the race and then had the fastest slalom run.

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