LaVell Edwards, head football coach for Brigham Young University from 1972 to 2000, died Thursday. According to the Herald Extra, Patti Edwards reported her husband broke his hip on Christmas Eve which contributed to his death. He was 86.
Reuben LaVell Edwards was born October 11, 1940 in Orem, Utah. He married his sweetheart, Patti, while attending Utah State. Together, they have three children. Under Edwards, BYU had 257 victories, 20 conference titles, and won the national championship in 1984. After his retirement in 2000, the school renamed their stadium after him. He won National Coach of the Year twice and has been inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2004.
Tom Holmoe, director of BYU athletics, released the following press release:
“I love LaVell Edwards. He came into my life, and the life of many others, at just the right time. I had the influence of a great coach, a wonderful person, a disciple of Christ, a loyal family man and a true friend, from the day I met him until the day he passed away. LaVell had a pure heart. He was the dream coach of every parent. His example will forever be with me and I will strive to live a life of love as he always did.”
Many others in the sports community shared their condolences online.
Sorry to hear of Lavell Edwards passing. True mentor and friend. His personal influence will be with me forever.
— Bronco Mendenhall (@UVACoachBronco) December 29, 2016
LaVell Edwards was loyalist coach I ever met. Had lucrative offers elsewhere but stayed at BYU. Never moved from 1st Provo house he bought.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) December 29, 2016
— Alani Fua (@bigdaddyFUA) December 29, 2016
RIP to Lavell Edwards. He was a great American and a good friend to my father and the entire Lee family: https://t.co/P4DtsXH1Sf
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) December 29, 2016
I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, LaVell Edwards. Coach Edwards was a gentle giant of the gridiron—a humble yet confident leader who guided the BYU football program through decades of unprecedented success. He was a champion both on and off the field. For thousands of athletes and millions of fans across the nation, LaVell was far more than a steady presence on the sideline; he was a visionary leader, a father figure, and a trusted friend. I will be forever grateful for my own friendship with LaVell Edwards. He was not only one of the most successful coaches in college football history but one of the greatest men I ever knew. Today, my prayers are with Patti and all members of the Edwards family.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.