Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Former Cougar Ty Detmer with former coach Lavell Edwards in Provo Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Detmer will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

PROVO — Former BYU head football coach LaVell Edwards spent his Christmas Day recovering from open heart surgery in Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

The 82-year-old coach underwent surgery Dec. 23 after experiencing a disturbing cough. He received an X-ray and an EKG and doctors found irregularities when compared to a previous test.

"I had no warning really," said Edwards, who is recovering at his home on Friday.

"What they found is a calsification of a valve, which happens over time. They corrected that and did one bypass, and I'll be just fine."

Friends at Riverside Country Club in Provo say Edwards has never played better golf in years than he did this summer and fall. "I think it will take some time before I'll pick up a club, probably about three months."

Edwards retired from BYU after the 2000 season and has spent his retirement working for charities, serving in missionary callings for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, golfing and enjoying his grandchildren. Edwards maintains homes in Provo and Coral Canyon near St. George.

Edwards was BYU's head football coach from 1972 to 2000 and is known for his passing offenses that had his quarterbacks pass for more than 11,000 passes for more than 100,000 yards and 635 touchdowns. He remains one of the winningest college football coaches of all time.

Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at