LaVell Edwards
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LaVell Edwards

LaVell Edwards
Edwards in 2010
Biographical details
Born(1930-10-11)October 11, 1930
Orem, Utah
DiedDecember 29, 2016(2016-12-29) (aged 86)
Provo, Utah
Alma materUtah State University (B.A.) (M.Ed.)
Brigham Young University (Ed.D.)
Playing career
1949-1951Utah State
Position(s)Offensive lineman
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1954-1961Granite HS (UT)
1962-1971BYU (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall257-101-3 (college)
Accomplishments and honors
1 National (1984)
18 WAC (1974, 1976-1985, 1989-1993, 1995-1996)
1 MWC (1999)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1979)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1984)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1984)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (2003)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2004 (profile)

Reuben LaVell Edwards (October 11, 1930 - December 29, 2016)[1] was an American football head coach for Brigham Young University (BYU). With 257 career victories, he ranks as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Among his many notable accomplishments, Edwards guided BYU to a national championship in 1984 and coached Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer in 1990.

Edwards played football for Utah State University and earned a master's degree prior to coaching at BYU, where he also earned his doctorate.

Coaching career

Edwards was BYU's head football coach from 1972 to 2000. He had previously served as an assistant coach from 1962 to 1971.[2][3][4] His offensive scheme was passing-dominated.[5] He started coaching in an era when college football offenses were dominated by strong running attacks.[5] His quarterbacks threw over 11,000 passes for more than 100,000 yards and 635 touchdowns.[1] He got the idea to switch to a pass oriented team by looking at BYU's history. The BYU football program had struggled before Edwards[6][7] with the notable exception of one conference championship that resulted from the aerial attack of Virgil Carter. This past success encouraged Edwards to open up the BYU offense.

Edwards coached prominent quarterbacks such as Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer, Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco, Gary Scheide, Gifford Nielsen and Steve Sarkisian.[1][3][5]

Awards won by his players include a Heisman Trophy, a Doak Walker Award, a Maxwell Award, two Outland Trophies, four Davey O'Brien Awards, seven Sammy Baugh Awards,[8] 34 All-America citations (including 10 consensus All-Americans), 11 conference player of the year and 24 Academic All-America player citations.[5]

In 1984, he was named National Coach of the Year after BYU finished the season 13-0 and won the National Championship.[1][6] Edwards retired after the 2000 season with a 257-101-3 record.[1][3][5][6]

Prior to Edwards' final game, BYU renamed its home field, Cougar Stadium, as LaVell Edwards Stadium in his honor.[1][7][9] The stadium had almost doubled in his capacity during his tenure, from 35,000 people when he took over the program to over 65,000 people upon his retirement.

At the time of his retirement, he ranked sixth all-time in victories,[9][10] and second all-time in victories with a single program (behind only Joe Paterno at Penn State).[11] Edwards received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, presented by the American Football Coaches Association, in 2003.[10]

In the 1980 Holiday Bowl, BYU rallied from a 45-25 deficit with only 4 minutes to play to defeat Southern Methodist University (SMU).[10]

Following the 1984 national championship, Edwards was offered head coaching positions with the Detroit Lions and the University of Texas at Austin, but he turned down both offers.[10]


Edwards carrying the Olympic Torch in 2002

Coaching tree

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
BYU Cougars (Western Athletic Conference) (1972-1998)
1972 BYU 7-4 5-2 T-2nd
1973 BYU 5-6 3-4 T-4th
1974 BYU 7-4-1 6-0-1 1st L Fiesta
1975 BYU 6-5 4-3 T-4th
1976 BYU 9-3 6-1 T-1st L Tangerine
1977 BYU 9-2 6-1 T-1st 16 20
1978 BYU 9-4 5-1 1st L Holiday
1979 BYU 11-1 7-0 1st L Holiday 12 13
1980 BYU 12-1 6-1 1st W Holiday 11 12
1981 BYU 11-2 7-1 1st W Holiday 11 13
1982 BYU 8-4 7-1 1st L Holiday
1983 BYU 11-1 7-0 1st W Holiday 7 7
1984 BYU 13-0 8-0 1st W Holiday 1 1
1985 BYU 11-3 7-1 1st L Florida Citrus 17 16
1986 BYU 8-5 6-2 2nd L Freedom
1987 BYU 9-4 7-1 2nd L All-American
1988 BYU 9-4 5-3 T-3rd W Freedom
1989 BYU 10-3 7-1 1st L Holiday 18 22
1990 BYU 10-3 7-1 1st L Holiday 17 22
1991 BYU 8-3-2 7-0-1 1st T Holiday 23 23
1992 BYU 8-5 6-2 T-1st L Aloha
1993 BYU 6-6 6-2 T-1st L Holiday
1994 BYU 10-3 6-2 T-2nd W Copper 10 18
1995 BYU 7-4 6-2 T-1st
1996 BYU 14-1 8-0 1st (Mountain) W Cotton 5 5
1997 BYU 6-5 4-4 5th (Mountain)
1998 BYU 9-5 7-1 T-1st (Pacific) L Liberty
BYU Cougars (Mountain West Conference) (1999-2000)
1999 BYU 8-4 5-2 T-1st L Motor City
2000 BYU 6-6 4-3 T-3rd
BYU: 257-101-3 175-42-2
Total: 257-101-3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Personal life

While head football coach at BYU, Edwards also earned a doctorate.[10][19][20]

Following his retirement from coaching, Edwards remained a prominent leader and speaker for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church), which owns and operates BYU.[21] He and his wife served an 18-month mission for the LDS Church in New York City during 2002 and 2003.[1][22]


Edwards suffered a broken hip on December 24, 2016 and died five days later at his home in Provo on December 29, at the age of 86.[1][5][6] A public memorial service was held at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo on January 6, 2017. A private funeral service for family and friends was then held the next day, on January 7.[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "LaVell Edwards, Coach Who Led B.Y.U. to a Football Title, Dies at 86". The New York Times. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ a b "LaVell Edwards, legendary BYU football coach, dead at 86". New York Daily News. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "LaVell Edwards, who coached BYU for nearly 30 years, dies at 86". ESPN. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "LaVell Edwards, head football coach at BYU from 1972 to 2000, dies at 86". Deseret News. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Herald, Jared Lloyd Daily. "Legendary BYU football coach LaVell Edwards dies at age 86". Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d "LaVell Edwards, who made BYU a football power, dies at 86". The Washington Post. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b "BYU Football: Legendary football coach LaVell Edwards passes away". December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Former BYU Head Coach LaVell Edwards passes away at the age of 86". ESPN 960. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Former BYU coach LaVell Edwards dies at the age of 86". USA Today. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Timeline: LaVell Edwards through the years". Deseret News. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards left a lasting legacy on the college football world but his greatest impact came off the field". SCOUT. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "Beehive State sports year in review: 2016 was definitely 'the year of coming close'". Deseret News. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "Legendary Hall of Fame college football coach LaVell Edwards dies at 86". December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Legendary BYU football coach LaVell Edwards dies". Fansided. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "BYU football: Edwards built great system, coaching staff". Deseret News. July 17, 2009. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ a b c "Throwback Thursday: LaVell Edwards Coaching Tree". Fansided. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d "Talo Steves wrote about the life and legacy of former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards after his passing yesterday". SCOUT. December 31, 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "RIP to BYU's LaVell Edwards, who built college football's unlikeliest champion". SB Nation. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ "Some big names in coaching got started under LaVell Edwards". OdfReport. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ "Legendary BYU football coach LaVell Edwards dies at 86". SCOUT. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "Former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards, 86, has died". Standard Examiner. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ A Legend in the Making Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Tribune, The Salt Lake. "BYU football: LaVell Edwards memorial service set for this evening". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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