BYU is rolling out the red carpet for long-time Cougar head football coach LaVell Edwards. The university will pay tribute the man that brought its football program to national prominence at halftime of the BYU-New Mexico game this Saturday.

PROVO, Utah (Nov. 12, 2004) – Former BYU Head Coach LaVell Edwards, who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on December 7, 2004, will be honored by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame during halftime of Saturday's football game against New Mexico at Edwards Stadium.

BYU President, Cecil O. Samuelson, as well as long-time friend and executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, Grant Teaff, will be on hand to honor Edwards during the half-time ceremony.

A coaching icon, whose success and longevity are paralleled by few, Edwards guided BYU to heights never before reached in the program's history. Edwards posted a record of 257-101-3 (.716) over a span of 29 seasons at BYU.

From 1972 until his retirement following the 2000 season, Edwards roamed the sidelines at BYU--a tenure that ranks fifth all-time among coaches at one school. In 21 of those 29 seasons, the Cougars claimed the league title. Guiding BYU to 22 bowl game appearances, including a streak of 17 straight bowl appearances, Edwards reached the pinnacle of coaching success in 1984 by winning the National Championship.

His 257 wins rank him sixth in NCAA Division I-A history, and he has more victories than every other coach in BYU history combined. At the helm, Edwards compiled a program best .716 win percentage, coached one Heisman Trophy winner, two Outland Trophy recipients, four Davey O'Brien award winners and 32 All-Americans--not to mention countless players who went on to professional careers in the NFL.

BYU's success didn't come without personal reward for Edwards either. He was named NCAA District 8 Coach of the Year eight times, the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year in 1979 and AFCA National Coach of the Year in 1985. Named the State of Utah's Coach of the Century, Edwards is a member of the State of Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

Edwards will become the fifth person affiliated with BYU football to be inducted in to the College Football Hall of Fame. It is no surprise that the four BYU players who are currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame often credit Edwards for their success. BYU's other College Football Hall of Famers include Steve Young (Class of 2001), Jim McMahon (Class of 1998) , Marc Wilson (Class of 1996), Gifford Nielsen (Class of 1994).

On Aug. 17, 2000, Edwards made the historic announcement that he would step down as head coach following the 2000 season. In a ceremony before his final game at Cougars Stadium on Nov. 18, 2000, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced Cougar Stadium would be known as LaVell Edwards Stadium, Home of the BYU Cougars. Edwards went on to lead the Cougars to a 37-13 win over New Mexico that day, claiming the first-ever victory in the newly re-named Edwards Stadium.

Edwards, who turned 74 in October, returned from an LDS Church mission to New York City in November, 2003. Along with his wife Patti, the Edwards' served as public affairs missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northeastern United States, as well as Eastern Canada. The Edwards have been married for 53 years and have three children, Ann, John and Jim. The Edwards have 14 grandchildren.

Edwards graduated from Lincoln High School in Orem, Utah. He holds a bachelor's degree from Utah State University, a master's degree from the University of Utah and a doctorate in education from Brigham Young University.

The 2004 College Football Hall of Fame class will be inducted at the 47th Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, 2004 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The inductees will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend during ceremonies in August, 2005.

A coach becomes eligible for induction in to the College Football Hall of Fame after three years from retirement, providing he was a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.

Other inductees for the Class of 2004 include running back Bob Anderson (Army, 1957-59), offensive lineman Tony Casillas (Oklahoma, 1982-85), linebacker Frank Emanuel (Tennessee, 1963-65), punter Ray Guy (Southern Mississippi, 1970-72), linebacker Wayne Harris (Arkansas, 1958-60), quarterback Joe Kapp (California, 1956-58), tigh end James Mandich (Michigan, 1967-69), running back Lydell Mitchell (Penn State, 1969-71), defensive tackle Tracy Rocker (Auburn, 1985-88), defensive back Jack Tatum (Ohio State, 1968-70), quarterback Andre Ware (Houston, 1987-89), tight end Charles Young (USC, 1970-72) and former head coach at Navy and Virginia, George Welsh (1973--2000).

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