Coach Lavell Edwards passes away at age 86

Two of my favorite people in the whole world, Debbie Reynolds and Lavell Edwards pass away in consecutive days. Add Glenn Frey and David Bowie to that list and this is been a tough year in terms of my heroes.

There would not be a BYU football history without Edwards. There would not be a national championship trophy. There would not be a Steve Young or a Jimmy Mac or a Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer

I will greatly miss the humble leader who spoke softly but carried the big big stick. He was and will forever be the benchmark for other coaches to emulate. The world has a little poorer today


He was a quiet, respected, deep thinking man who was about as real as they get. I met him a couple times and thought to myself, I wish more people were like him.

He was genuine, kind, etc. Just a really good man.

Watching the tribute and discussion on ESPN is pretty cool. Matich and Young are talking about him, the legacy, the games, etc. and what he did for the game, for his players and for people.

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I met 3 times in his Football coaching class. 1st day, mid-term and final day :slight_smile:
Always had a smile on his face.

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I met Lavell Edwards once and it was an interesting situation. It was in 1974 while I was working on the grounds crew while I was a student at BYU. The foreman of our crew was sick and it was his responsibility to mark the stripes on the old practice field that used to be the old football field until the current stadium was built. I was told I would have to do it and I was real nervous about it because I had never spread the lye on the field that marked the lines and they were a bit crooked and we were late getting it done. The players were ready to go and I wasn’t finished. I remember apologizing to the coach about the crooked lines and holding up practice. He asked where Gary, the foreman was, and I told him he was sick and they told me to do it. I could tell he wished Gary had done it but he took it in stride and said he understood the problem and said the crooked lines shouldn’t be too much of a problem and they would make the best of the situation. I was relieved because I was half expecting to be severely chastised and for a complaint to be filed with the manager of the BYU physical plant. My past experiences with coaches is that they were not all that understanding about a whole lot of things. My impression was that he was a great guy but also very serious about his work.

It is noteworthy that football was a poor second to basketball as far as fan interest at BYU until Lavell took over. I doubt anybody could have foreseen his legacy. He is one of the all time great college coaches considering any sports in my book.

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I was a member of LaVell’s ward for about a year or so, back when I lived in Provo. I actually have his “autograph” on my Melchizedek priesthood ordination certificate, because he was at the Stake’s High Council.

He was such a nice guy!

He is a better man than he was a coach.

I was able to meet him for the first time when I worked in Provo, my wife and a friend went behind my back to set up the time to visit him. I did not want to be one of those relatives that came out of the woodwork because they were famous.

Met him several times after that, What amazed me that he remembered my dad( Lavell’s second cousin) when they use to hold the big 5 coaches meeting at the Ambassador Club in SLC. I never knew my dad even talk to Coach Edwards. When I told him that my father had passed in 2001, I could see Lavell was sadden by the news.

He is what every coach should apsire to… A Great Friend, Parent and Coach… in that order.


He left a lasting impression on all who knew him, member or not. His last gift to BYU was excellent coverage, around the nation, of BYU and it’s fb program. You can’t buy that kind of PR. Loved to see the stadium lit up with the big screen featuring his pic.

How many of you remember the story of one Lavell Edwards ran into Barry Switzer in the elevator after the cougars had won the national championship?

I don’t, let’s hear it.

Inquiring minds want to know… :wink:

It was right after Byu had won the national championship in the end up going to the coaches conference and he’s alone in the elevator with Barry Switzer and Barry goes you didn’t deserve to win the national championship coach and LaVell Edwards just smiled at him and said he did not set up the system. No wonder Provo set up a sewage system after Barry Switzer’s name

Great memories! Nothing funnier than that Sooner Schooner tumbling over and UW winning that game… The true justice was the penalty and momentum killer of the mess it made on the field! It took on a life of its own and sucked all news cycle into the wagon problems and away from BYU. I believe BYU beat the two common opponents worse than OU did. The Baylor coach Told the media that BYU was a much better team than OU having played both. I remember we ran BU out of the stadium by almost 40 points. They were in shock.

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Just shows what lesser man Barry was than LaVell. He should have congratulated LaVell. That would have been the adult thing to have done.

I only “met” LaVell one time, but it left a lasting impression. My son had a great HS career and promising college career ended when in the 3rd game of his senior year of HS he broke his leg after a long pass reception. Marcus was devastated. He loved nothing more than football and had played his whole life with zero injuries, and in one moment it was over (he played a year in college but the leg was never the same). We were in the ER until 4am. We got home and at 5am headed for the Portland airport to fly to Provo to watch the BYU-Florida State game. We sat near the top of the West bleachers under the press box. After the game a very nice usher saw Marcus on crutches and told us we could go down the press box elevator. As we waited in a crowd for the elevator, we see LaVell standing there waiting. We looked at him (slightly in awe) but there was a crowd and as much as we wanted to meet him we kept silent. Marcus was on crutches so people let us get in the elevator first. LaVell was one of the last in. We all get in the elevator and it’s silent, like elevators tend to be. But at that moment, LaVell turns and looks at Marcus and said, “How did you hurt your leg?” M: “I broke it in my game in Oregon last night; I caught a long pass and got tackled and a kid rolled upon it.” L: “What HS do you play for?” M: “McNary.” L: “I know McNary; you got a good program there. Are you a senior?” M: “Yeah.” L: “Son, keep your chin up; I can tell you love the game.” The whole thing took maybe 30 seconds. I could tell Marcus was really hurting inside. So could LaVell. No one else made a sound. As the doors opened and we went to step out, LaVell suddenly stopped, turned, and said, “Hey, Son–after you made the catch and got hit, did you hold onto the ball?” M: “Yeah, I did.” L: “Good job son. Way to hold onto the ball.” LaVell didn’t need to say that. LaVell was already half way out of the elevator. Marcus and I will always remember LaVell’s last words, because it was an extreme act of kindness to acknowledge Marcus’ holding onto the ball–a legendary college coach finding a way to compliment a kid he’d never seen before and would never see again, in a moment when that kid needed it the very most. I am still blown away that LaVell recognized a kid was hurting and did something to help when we had actually gone out of our way to NOT talk to him. I guess there are probably 10,000 LaVell stories that show he was that way to everyone, but that one moment sure means a lot to us.

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Pretty nice to get that face to face talk with LaVell Edwards.
I have met LaVell Edward son Jimmy & his wife who we were in the same ward at the BYU Married Ward “Wymount”. Jimmy remind me just like his dad, does not talk about football and ask us how we were doing and stuff. Great family all around people.

Lavell Edwards was a godly man who listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That is the reason he did what he did. Good story and like you said, probably one of many, many stories.

Cue the 3 minute mark and have some tissues ready. Love that man.

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I was wondering if Jim McMahon would come to his best friend LaVell Edwards Funeral. When I read about his bad & good times at BYU with his coach got me laugh and put tears in my eyes. What a good guy Jim is.

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