Edwards Led A Football Revolution

Antonio JonesDec 30, 2016

When he retired in 2000, Edwards had a career record of 257-101-3, the seventh-best record in Football Bowl Subdivision history.

He coached Heisman Trophy victor Ty Detmer (currently BYU's offensive coordinator), two Outland Trophy winners given to the nation's best interior lineman, four Davey O'Brien award winners for the nation's top quarterback, four College Football Hall of Famers, and 13 All-Americans.

That began a run of 27-straight non-losing seasons, 22 bowl appearances and 20 league titles.

Edwards coached the Cougars for 29 seasons before retiring in 2000.

A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Edwards was hired in 1972 and oversaw the rise of BYU to national prominence behind a passing offense during an era when most schools relied on running games.


Before gaining fame as BYU's offense-minded, national championship winning coach, Edwards played football for the Utah State Aggies from 1949 to 1951 and in 2011 was inducted in USU Athletic Hall of Fame. Edwards led the Cougars over Bo Schembechler's Michigan Wolverines in the 1984 Holiday Bowl, 24-17, to capture the national championship.

Edwards was known for his pioneering passing offense, which produced such future National Football League quarterbacks as Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Gifford Nielsen and Marc Wilson. "He's a BYU grad; he played for us". Its the last national championship won by a team outside the Power 5 conferences. "Self-deprecating and he was an even better family guy than he was a coach". That is LaVell. He had an impact on so many lives, and not just as coach but as a person.

"I think it's a great hire", Edwards told KSL at the time. He has won a national championship and coached a Heisman Trophy victor, and McMahon and Young both went on to become star NFL quarterbacks.

Widely respected on and off the field, Edwards checked just about every box to be recognized as a college football legend, achieving consistently high levels of success at BYU while pushing football toward the quarterback-first, passing-centric sport we know now.

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