After 48 years coaching at one school, winning a national championship and having a stadium named after him, LaVell Edwards knows a thing or two about school spirit.
Edwards will come to speak at UVU’s Ballroom Nov. 15, as part of Homecoming Week to promote spirit, tradition and honor at a school that is lacking all three. The speech has been timed so that students in attendance will then go to the basketball Homecoming game on Saturday night.
“He is going to come to inspire pride and spirit,” said Daniel Diaz, assistant to the Vice President of the UVUSA.
Edwards was the head football coach of Brigham Young from 1972 to 2000. During his time at BYU, he was able to turn around the program that had struggled for years into a program in the national spotlight.
He is currently the seventh most winningest coach in the history of Division I football with 257 victories. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. His 1984 BYU team went undefeated and won the national championship.
Some of his other awards include winning the Bobby Dod Coach of the year award, the AFCA Coach of the Year award and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award.
Part of the tradition that he started at BYU was his list of award-winning quarterbacks, earning the school the nickname of “quarterback U.” The list of his quarterbacks inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame include: Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon and Steve Young. Another quarterback, Ty Detmer won the Heisman Trophy in 1990. There have been seven quarterbacks that have won the Sammy Baugh trophy for the nation’s best passer.
While Edwards isn’t an alumnus of UVU, his status as a local legend makes him a perfect candidate to attempt to inspire the students at UVU to find their school spirit and find a tradition of their own.
His most important credential may be the fact that before he came to BYU, they were missing the spirit that UVU currently lacks. In his time at BYU, he won more games than the previous 50 years. He created tradition at BYU.
This may be the chance for UVU students to see that there is chance for any school to create a tradition.
By Jarom Moore