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Legendary BYU Football Coach LaVell Edwards Passed Away At 86

A BYU football helmet sitting on the field.

FORT COLLINS, CO - NOVEMBER 01: A detail photograph of the helmet belonging to quaterback Brenden Gaskins #6 of the Brigham Young Cougars as he warms up prior to facing the Colorado State Rams at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Fort Collins, Colorado. BYU defeated CSU 45-42. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

LaVell Edwards, BYU's head football coach from 1972-2000, passed away at the age of 86 today.

The Salt Lake Tribune first reported on the news this afternoon. Tributes have been pouring in on Twitter ever since.

Edwards had a career record of 257-101-3, coaching his entire career at BYU. He led the Cougars to the 1984 National Championship, the last non-power conference school to win a college football title, and captured 19 conference championships (18 WAC, one Mountain West).

Perhaps the most impressive part of Edwards' legacy is his incredible coaching tree. Many great NFL and college coaches, and a number of the sport's true innovators, coached under Edwards. From The Salt Lake Tribune:

The list of notables who played or coached under Edwards includes current BYU coach Kalani Sitake, former Washington and USC coach Sarkisian, former Hawaii coach Norm Chow, current Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, former Oregon State coach Dave Kragthorpe and NFL coaches Brian Billick, Mike Holmgren and Andy Reid. Washington State coach Mike Leach has often attributed his offensive success to details he learned from Edwards, although Leach never played or coached under the man credited by many for implementing the foundations for the West Coast Offense.

Edwards is also credited for laying the groundwork for the Air Raid Offense popularized by Hal Mumme, whose own coaching tree includes Leach, and through him, Art Briles, Sonny Dykes, Dana Holgorsen, and Kliff Kingsbury.

LaVell Edwards doesn't have the name recognition of contemporaries like Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden, but he has had an outsized impact on modern college football, particularly on the offensive side.

[The Salt Lake Tribune]