BYU MOURNING LAVELL EDWARDS
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.
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