Patti and LaVell Edwards talk with Trevor Matich, who played on the 1984 national championship team and is now an analyst for ESPN, during Wednesday’s ceremony. Matich said of all LaVell's accomplishments, "The real trophies are not in the case, they’re the former players bringing their kids to look at the trophies in the case." BY KATHERINE JONES — Idaho Statesman
As a mild BYU fan I took the opportunity to attend this event last night at the Student Union Building with a couple of the rabid BYU fans in my family, I was happy to go. Legendary BYU Head Coach, LaVell Edwards was presented the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame's Nell and John Wooden Coaching Achievement Award, an award presented annually to a coach along with his or her spouse who together have made exceptional contributions to their players and their futures. Before I get to the BSU mentions I just have to say how impressed I was with Coach Edwards and everything his former players and coaches were sharing about him last night. That guy was not only a heck of a coach, a brilliant mind who pretty much got the west coast started, but also a true hero to his team family. We are so fortunate to have a good guy like LaVell running our team up here in Boise.
Speaking of Coach Pete, he was asked in his presser this week about LaVell and his influence on his coaching. He responded by saying he was "always humbled and really in awe at a guy who was able to stay at a place so long and do things correctly and actually win a lot of games in the process." (257 to be exact, thats good enough for the 6th most in NCAA coaching history). I bolded my favorite part of that statement. I've never really worried to much about a coaching vacancy leading to Coach Pete's departure however I've said over and over, Oregon's will scare the crap out of me. That said, statements like these and events like the Beat Coach Pete run this weekend make me feel that more secure about the blessing that Coach Pete is to our program and brand. Will Coach Pete catch up to LaVell in the wins column? I don't know, currently I think he's got 73 under his belt, 184 to go!
Coach Pete was also asked how similar his program is to what LaVell Edwards got started in the 80's at BYU. Coach Pete of course responded humbly by saying he didn't "want to make ourselves different or better than we are but [he thought] that'd be something to shoot for and a great person and program to be [our] role model." During the event, BYU AD Tom Holmoe and Coach Edwards were asked about the 10 year (now 12 year) series between BYU and BSU that Holmoe helped secure. Coach Edwards said his first reaction was that he was glad he wasn't coaching BYU anymore. Coach Holmoe added to that by saying that what Chris Petersen has done here is exactly what LaVell did at BYU. Both men had a lot of respect for the Bronco brand and that was cool to see.
Lyle Smith attended the event last night and came up to speak a few words with LaVell, I missed the details behind their coaching connections but they had some sort of connection. It was kind of neat because Lyle had his former national JC college champion and two-way tackle Lenny Chow's help getting onto the stage. For those who don't know about Lenny, he's basically our Blue and Orange ambassador to Hawaii and the eldest brother of Norm Chow who coached under LaVell. Many still question why he didn't get the chance to lead BYU but BYU's loss was UCLA, Utah, and now Hawaii's gain. That was another piece of Coach Pete that I saw in LaVell last night, the coaching tree. You may not know but LaVell's coaching tree includes the likes of Mike Holmgren (Seattle), Andy Reid(Philly), Dave Kragthorpe (former Oregon State HC), Kyle Whittingham (Utah HC), Robert Anae (Arizona OC), Brian Billick (former Super Bowl champion Baltimore HC), and Ted Tollner (former USC HC) to name the noteables. I like to think Coach Pete's will look just as impressive by the time he's LaVell's age.
To sum up the BSU mentions and my experience last night, LaVell mentioned something he discussed with Coach Pete and that was what it takes to be a succesfull coach. He said Coach Pete said it takes "a understanding wife, a dog because they'll love you no matter what, and a good QB but not necessarily always all in that order. Haha I like what I've heard out of QB camp and who knows, after a succesful Southwick and Patti era maybe LaVell's Quarterback U will start being used to describe Boise State.
Great event last night, the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame does some great work and we're lucky to have that as a product of Boise. Hope these were enjoyable nuggets to read this morning! GO BRONCOS!!!