Timothy R. Clark: What I learned from LaVell Edwards

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  • ChrisB Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    Well, I see that the imposter has struck once again... How do I eradicate this guy from my good name!??

    Regardless, as a loyal lifetime Ute fan, I still can tip my hat to the legacy and quality of Coach Edwards for the Cougars. He brought a national spotlight to the state of Utah for football and even a diehard Ute fan can acknowledge that. Despite our recent successes in BCS era football over the past few seasons, even I can acknowledge that it wouldn't have bene possible without Edwards success and approach to coaching in Provo.

    Go Utes.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 1:21 p.m.


    What killed the Utah State football program was...

    a small, unsupportive fan base and an even smaller television market

    Sure, it didn't help when the Aggies were left behind when BYU and Utah helped create the WAC, but the Aggies have only themselves to blame for over 50 years of ineptness.

    Boise State rose from a mediocre Big Sky team to a national championship contender in the last 12 years playing in the same conference as the Aggies.

    If the Broncos were able to do that, why haven't the Aggies?

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    Troutman: Lavell was my PE teacher at Granite High School in my junior year, 1954. I believe that is the year he started coaching high school football.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Jan. 11, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    ".....however we were forced off the map by BYU and Utah when the invite to the original WAC was not given to USU....That day in 1962 was the demise of USU football.....We have been struggling mightily ever since to get back on the map!"


    You a so very correct. A defining moment changed the USU program - although it took decades to truely realize. I beleive a similar "moment" occured to BYU when the Utes were invited to the PAC12 instead of the tds. Only decades from now will they truley understand.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    Arnie Hedgehog: BYU sits in the shadow of no one or no other organization. BYU is one of a kind. You will come to see the greatness of the BYU program and you will wonder "how did that happen"? BYU has great leaders from the top to the bottom! When BYU makes a decision, it is pondered, well thought out, and it the "right decision for the BYU program. You will see. Tune in again in 2 or 3 years. It will be amazing! See you later, brother.

  • troutman Washington, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 12:56 p.m.

    TJ your thoughts are what we Aggies used to say, We Aggies were on the Map Long before BYU.....however we were forced off the map by BYU and Utah when the invite to the original WAC was not given to USU....That day in 1962 was the demise of USU football.....We have been struggling mightily ever since to get back on the map! We had a lot of good coaches that Lavell new and used, Lavell was a smart man. His style of play was that of his mentor John Ralston who coached the Aggies in their Glory years. Lavell graduated an Aggie but he himself once said that USU's non invite to the WAC in 1962 hurt USU badly. In 1962 I believe Edwards was getting into High School coaching? I believe BYU will survive as an independant.....they will because they have the Money to do so. USU's problem is $$$$$ plain and simple, doesn't take a genius to figure that out! Utah in the PAC12 is still an experient? Again for you football purest of the State of Utah, Lavell implemented at BYU that which he was taught by John Ralston!

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    Chris B: You haven't a clue. IK know Lavell and his family. Am neighbors of his deceased brother and his sister. They are all down to earth, good people - "Salt of the Earth" people. Lavell was great because he was a great leader. Great leaders promote greatness in those who serve under them. A great leader does not do all of the work themselves - they know how to delegate. Chris, I don't think you know the meaning of the word "delegate". It is an important concept. Learn about it and you will understand the greaatness of Lavell Edwards. Peace, brother.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    Wayne Howard is rumored to be next year's winner. congrats in advance.

  • Europe Topeno, Finland
    Jan. 11, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    I met LaVell in 1971 and for the next four years I worked for him in the training room. THIS MAN IS GENUINE! Through the years we would return to Provo and at one point he was even our home teacher. LaVell has always been the same--- he does not put up an act. AND That's why I love him - for the FRIEND he is.

    Now that we are back in Finland - miss him!


  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Jan. 11, 2011 1:25 a.m.

    I was at BYU when Coach Edwards was an Assistant to Tommy Hudspeth and then in my Senior year he took over... Talk about raising the Dead, this guy took a program that was almost as bad as the one in SLC and made it a National Power in just a few short years...

    He took players that were rated mid grade for Division I and made them All Americans, All Pro and even Hall of Famers...

    The guys who played for him loved him and respected him more... My Nephew played for him and became an All American...

    He tokk Assistant coaches, developed them and sent them off to head coaching positions... He taught and then delegated and passed on all of the credit... He was a coach's coach.

    He brought the only National Title to the State of Utah and this state will not see another one until Coach Mendenhall has the independent Cougars ready to once again play for a National Championship.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    Coach Edwards was a great coach but even greater man. He represented the values of the University well and did countless good things. My guess is that if he were less of a good man, he might have been a better coach, but if I had to choose, I am glad he was a great man first. He can take pride in his accomplishments that not only brought success to BYU but changed the face of college football. His name means BYU football. It is just that the stadium bears his name.

  • DW Grantsville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    I really enjoyed this well written article on a man that has had tremendous influence and impact on hundreds of people. He is a man of honor and character. It is sad that more are not like him in character. Thank you for sharing his influence on you and others.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    optimist | 5:08 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011
    Sun City, CA
    "It is time for forgiveness and tolorance. It is time to make Jim Mac Mahon a member of the BYU
    Hall of Fame."

    Jim knows what he needs to do.

    Jim will, if he values the BYU Hall of Fame. He has kids. If he wants to set the example, he will get the degree. If not, why sweat the guy. It's on him, not BYU.

    Just give Jim peace without the pressure...

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 10, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Coach Edwards also had a sense of humor and the ability to keep things in perspective. That is what we seem to need most today.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    Hope the trolls don't watch the BCS game where LaVell will be honored nationally. It will be a 911 moment for them.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    Chris B:

    Should I trust a troll like you or a person like Tim Clark who has walked the walk?


  • optimist Sun City, CA
    Jan. 10, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    In 1978, we had a major break through in our religious situation. It was all for the good.

    in 2011, it is time for another major break through.
    It is time for forgiveness and tolorance. It is time to make Jim Mac Mahon a member of the BYU
    Hall of Fame.

  • cactusflats American Fork, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Lavell could have been Urban Meyer and sold out to anybody with the biggest checkbook. But he stuck it out with a BYU job that paid him 5-10x less than he would have made elsewhere. He gave up millions (still made plenty) but gained legend status. In the end, wouldn't you make the same choice?

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    Lavell does not need any of these blogs. But here goes mine, thank you Lavell for the attitude of gratitude you have instilled in your former players and the culture that Bronco is trying to reestablish.

    Poly Cougar Nation

  • Serenity Now American Fork, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    Ute trolls should show respect by acknowledging that the success they enjoy(ed) beginning in the mid-90s was a direct result of a Lavell-trained linebacker named Kyle Whittingham and his dad, Fred.

  • nielsen American Fork, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    Seriously Chris B., how can you even think Lavell Edwards is not a great coach. 29 seasons and only one losing season that is a pretty good record. Even Kyle Whittingham lists him as one of his top three coaches. Lavell Edwards did so much for the Cougars. An awesome coach he was.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    Otis Spurlock | 8:46 a.m.
    I agree. As we have seen things roll out this year, it's too bad that the PAC never gave him a chance. The PAC was never going to give BYU the invite, for many reasons that have nothing to do with sports.

    I watched him coach when they took the title "interim" away.

    Personally, I cannot think of another building on BYU's campus that is named for someone because of their accomplishments in athletics. Also, LES is probably the most recognized university facility on BYU's campus (maybe in the state).

    It's good to see him to continue to get the recognition he deserves.

  • Y's Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    hedgehog | 11:03 a.m. Jan. 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, MI

    "The painfull(sp)rejection of a BCS conference,,,"

    Wha? Didn't know the Y ever asked for consideration. How can you be rejected for something you didn't ask for?

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    No class crew(chris, hedge and otis etc.).The mountain that BYU football is today casts a long deep shadow to the North where the little brothers rant and gnash their teeth to no avail. Lavell is respected nationwide as an innovator and as someone who changed college football forever.
    The jealousy and obsession in the garbage spewed by a few trolls above are proof. It likely will come to pass that the TUN's only recourse will be remembering back when their football team was good for a brief period before falling to the bottom of the PAC. Big brother was on top way before you were on the map and they will be there long after you are forgotten.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Anyone who demeans LaVell is on the other side of the entire national coaching profession, common decency, and reality. Any guesses on which struggling team they mindlessly cheer for?

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    College football has changed over the years along with how we as fans look at the game and its coaches. LaVell was right for the time. I believe that Bronco is right for HIS time and that in time we will be able to look back and see that. All the trolls can say what they may, but time is on the side of doer not the sayer.

    LaVell is recognized all over the football kingdom as a GREAT Coach, Father figure, and Human Being. Thanks LaVell for putting BYU football on the map where it continues to be today.

  • spudlydoright McCammon, Idaho
    Jan. 10, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    I watched many BYU games back in the seventies and eighties and they were well coached and disciplined; that was very obvious. Coaches like him, Chris Petersen, and Joe Paterno; men that just seem to be classy in every way are too few and far between.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    LaVell was the best....I miss the days of he and Ron McBride.....they were some times and great coaches who had endearing personalities~!

  • applejax Cleveland, OH
    Jan. 10, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    I learned a lot about the type of man that Lavell was when I was a student trainer at BYU. He came in the training room to get a bandaid and a theraband. He introduced himself to me (even though he needed no introduction) and asked me my name. It took about 5 minutes for me to get the stuff while he was talking to other people. When I gave it to him, he thanked me by name. I know this seems trivial, but I can't tell you how many times I've met someone, and then not even 1 minute later realized I forgot their name. I think is is more than a great coach, he is a great man.

  • Solomon the Wise Alpine, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    LaVell is a great man and fully deserving of being in the College Football Hall of Fame.


    I feel sorry for our resident trolls who continue to embarrass themselves and their school with their juvenile posts -- the only thing they'll ever be associated with is the hall of shame.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    What Coach Edwards taught me is...

    -You don't have to do everything yourself to be a GREAT coach.

    He is the greatest coach I have ever known mainly because he knew to surround himself with good coaches and players, and then not micro_manage them.

    A lot of good coaches and players contributed to Lavel Edward's success. And that's the way it is in most professions.

    My manager can't succeed unless I succeed. So he needs pick top_notch people, give them good direction, empower them to make their own decisions, and trust them to work and make HIM look good.

    The coach/boss can't succeed by throwing people under the bus, or micro_managing them, or surrounding themselv with under_performers.

    I was always impressed with how Lavel Edwards could stand on the sidelines during a game and just scowel and rarely say a word the whole game... while the people around him scrambled and just got things done. To me... that was a tribute to his preparation and his skilled use of deligation and surrounding himself with coaches he could trust during the game (so he could get_out_of_the_trenches and monitor the overall_situation and make broad_adjustments).

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Jan. 10, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    What Ive learned is that BYU can only reflect back on a time when things looked possible. Lavelle brought hope and promise.

    Fast forward 25 years and what reality holds is much different. BYU now sits in the shadow of the UofU. The painfull rejection of a BCS conference in favor of the Utes will forever change the landscape for what is possible.

    Hold on to your memories of good 'ol times if it helps.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Jan. 10, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    We can still see his influence today ... not just at BYU but at all the other programs that are enjoying the benefit of having his former players as coaches.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    In the pantheon of college football coaches, LaVell Edwards is a legend.

    He took a program that had won ONE conference championship in its entire history; had never been to a bowl game; had never been ranked; and within a dozen years, he won a National Championship that sent shockwaves through the college football establishment.

    More than that. LaVell did it with quiet, unassuming, dignity and leadership.

    Thanks LaVell!

  • The Rocker Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    Lavell Edwards rocked! I will probably never be a BYU fan ever again in my life but I was a fan when Lavell Edwards was coach at BYU.
    How do you not respect the man? He did more for college football than anyone I can think of.
    It was a blast to watch college football when it was Lavells team playing. They were almost always prepared and gave a good athletic battle.
    Look at the awesome quaterbacks this man recruited as well. I could never imagine driving to Provo to watch a game and deal with all the eternal traffic in this day and age. The games are boring now.
    Back in the day it was worth it. i went whenever I could. Thanks for the great memories Lavell.
    You rock man!

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:58 a.m.

    @Tom in CA

    Are you referring that person starting with a "C"? No, don't mentioned about him. Just don't read or respond to him. He or she just want the attention.

    I have met Jimmy Edward and what a great family they are. Even Ron Mcbride would agree about LaVell. Anyway keep on smiling LaVell.

  • Golfhack20 West Jordan, Ut
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Easy Chris B... He controled his emotions very well and I see Coach Witt tryig to do the same. We are in good hands as is BYU with Coach Mendenhall. A leader is someone who will lead his team win or lose. A judge of leadership is how your players treat or admire you after they are done playing for you. I think it is obvious how Coach Edwards players admire and love him. Look at the smile on J. Mcmahons face. It says it all!!!

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:11 a.m.

    Some posters here are endlessly starving for attention, and one in particular - any guesses who I am referring to??

  • Barack Obama Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Whether or not Lavell was a great Xs & Os coach or not is not the question. The article is about him being a leader, a great example of manhood, and a geniuine person which is far better than just being a good coach that knew football.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Lavell is a really great guy. It's just too bad that the one goal he really desired, and that he spent most of his energy trying to accomplish, never came to pass. That goal was making his team earn an invitation to the PAC 12.

    Have fun in retirement Lavell. You earned it.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Some people just don't know how to say anything nice, do they. Unfortunately, some people just aren't very mature.

    Lavell Edwards is a great man and anyone who knows anything about him knows that. That' why he was named NCAA Coach of the year.

    I believe Bronco is Lavell's "protege"....not his "mentor."

  • leonard Oakley, ID
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    LaVell was an awesome coach!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    Oh, please. He was good at one primary thing--hiring really good assistant coaches. Once they left, he started losing. Especially after Norm Chow left. Lavelle just kind of stood on the sidelines and watched. Kinda like Ronald Reagan.

  • R1JT Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    What a great tribute to a great man. Thank you for writing this.

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    LaVell is responsible for the style of play today, he changed the entire face of football and too little people know that. By his success he also created the bowl alliance and BcS, ironically.

    LaVell is the man.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    Excellent article! What a great man, coach, and leader!

    And his mentor is....Bronco Mendenhall.

  • jmstoker Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 10, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    Thanks for your article...it rang bells for me. I'm an old guy....I attended BYU 1974-1980...I watched Coach LaVell and the best that college football could offer in excitment and productivity. At the first of every season we would stand in line to be in the "card stunt" section which meant season tickets...amazing qtrbacks. BYU football was were I dated my future wife; we took our first child to the games; and bonded with other family members there. We all viewed LaVells leadership from afar and felt many of the things you discuss in your article. Thanks

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 7:44 a.m.