As someone who is relatively new to the BYU fan base (the first BYU game I watched was the upset of Oklahoma in 2009), my only connection with Lavell Edwards is his place in football history and a few chance encounters in recent years. I knew that Mike Holmgren, the first winning coach of my beloved Seahawks, was a part of his coaching tree. I knew he won a national title at a school I had never heard of until my junior year of high school. And I knew that he made passing the ball a lot really cool.
When I first came to BYU and attended a game at Lavell Edwards Stadium, I thought it was fitting that the stadium was named after him and nothing more. After I returned from a mission and got a job working at football games, I understood better why they named the stadium after him.
At football games, I work down on the field. As a result of that, I have met most of the LDS apostles, Jimmer, Mitt Romney, and Edwards (among others). Edwards took time to talk with everyone who asked for a minute of his time. He took pictures with every little kid and every adult who grew up watching him coach and asked him too. Every time he greeted me at the few basketball games he attended in my section, he greeted me with a smile and a handshake. That may not seem like a lot, but most of my interactions with people are me getting yelled at. He had a mix of humility and understanding of what he meant to Cougar fans everywhere, and didn’t let it inflate his ego at all (which I have a deep appreciation for, also as a result of working near various members of the BYU athletics community). Thank you, Coach. - Ken O’Kelley