The 1998 recipients of the Sen. Reed Smoot Citizen of the Year Awards have been named by the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce. They were honored at a banquet Wednesday at the Provo Marriott Hotel.
Brigham Young University football coach LaVell Edwards has been named Citizen of the Year. His accomplishments are numerous as are the ways he serves the community.Named Western Athletic Conference "Coach of the Year" seven times, Edwards has coached the East-West Shrine game four times, the Hula Bowl three times, the Blue-Gray classic twice and the Japan bowl twice. He has also coached the Coaches All-American game.
Edwards was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1984 after guiding the Cougars to a national championship, as well as the Dale Rex Memorial Award, given to the Utahn who has contributed the most to amateur athletics. He was named to Utah State's All-Century Team and in 1996 was named Utah's Coach of the Century at the Utah Centennial sports ceremonies.
Above the awards and recognitions, Edwards says his family comes first. That includes his wife, Patti, and their three children and 13 grandchildren.
"At BYU, it was my good fortune to run into one of the great people-skilled persons in the world," said Steve Young, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. "LaVell Edwards has a tremendous ability to understand people and visualize what they can become. He is a one-in-a-billion type person and coach."
Edwards is joined by nine other Smoot award winners representing business, culture and academics:
- Lorna Teeter, art teacher at Farrer Middle School - Outstanding Educator.
- Jose Rubio Meneses, founder of El Azteca Restaurant in Provo - posthumously awarded Businessman of the Year. Meneses died on March 25.
- Elaine Rigtrup Shepherd, 60-year poultry farming business - Businesswoman of the Year.
- Fakler Tire Service, owned by Peter Fakler, Business of the Year. Stores are now open in Spanish Fork, American Fork, Orem and Pleasant Grove.
- Camille Freeze, Timpview High School, Athlete of the Year.
- Paul Wright, Timpview High School, Student of the Year.
- Rev. Dean L. Jackson, Rock Canyon Assembly of God, Outstanding Community Service.
- Roger Drinkall and Dian Baker-Drinkall, Contribution to the Cultural Arts. Awarded posthumously to Roger, who died Dec. 14, 1997.
Each of the award winners are sponsored by businesses throughout the community.