Former Brigham Young Coach LaVell Edwards Dies at 88

PROVO, UT - DECEMBER 21: Former BYU legionary football coach, Lavell Edwards, talks to the press at a press conference on December 21, 2015 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
PROVO, UT – DECEMBER 21: Former BYU legionary football coach, Lavell Edwards, talks to the press at a press conference on December 21, 2015 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

LaVell Edwards, who coached Brigham Young for 29 seasons and led the Cougars to a national title in 1984, died Thursday at the age of 86, the school announced.

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. The system was led by future NFL quarterbacks Gifford Nielsen, Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco and Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer.

Its success led to a large impact on the future of both college and NFL offenses.

Among those coaches that learned under Edwards as a player or assistant were future NFL coaches Mike Holmgren, Brian Billick and Andy Reid and college coaches Kyle Whittingham, Norm Chow, Steve Sarkisian, Hal Mumme and Ted Tollner. Mike Leach graduated from BYU in 1983 and never played or coached for Edwards, but acknowledges using some of the system in his current offense.

Edwards retired from coaching after the 2000 season with a 257-101-3 record, including a 13-0 record in 1984 capped by a Holiday Bowl defeat of Michigan. Its the last national championship won by a team outside the Power 5 conferences.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Erick Smith