Date of Birth
Brigham Young University (1972-2000)
LaVell Edwards was born and raised just a few miles from the campus of Brigham Young University at a time when the Cougars were enjoying only nominal success against mid-level opponents. In the first 47 years of BYU football, the team won only 43 percent of their games. That would all change in 1972 with the hiring of Edwards. Over his exceptional 29-season career, Brigham Young became a national power, winning 71.6 percent of their games from 1972 to 2000. During this impressive span, Edwards led the Cougars to a 257-101-3 record, 20 WAC titles – including 11 in a row, 13 top-25 finishes, four top-10 finishes, and the 1984 national championship. At a time when most prominent football programs placed an emphasis on the running game, Edwards embraced a wide-open style of passing offense that is known today as the West Coast Offense. This system produced a number of celebrated quarterbacks including 1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer, who also won the Davey O’Brien Award twice. BYU quarterbacks Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Gifford Nielsen, and Marc Wilson all became Hall of Famers. In addition to his teams’ successes, Edwards was also the recipient of more than a few individual honors. He was the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year in 1979 and the AFCA National Coach of the Year in 1984. He also won the Grantland Rice Trophy from the National Football Writers Association in 1984 and the Neyland Trophy from the American Football Coaches Association in 1988.
- 1979 Dodd Coach of the Year winner
Class of 2004