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Brigham Young's Edwards to Retire

August 18, 2000|From Associated Press

LaVell Edwards, who won a national title and built one of the most prolific passing offenses in college football history, is retiring as coach at Brigham Young after this season.

Under Edwards, who will be 70 in October, the Cougars won the 1984 national championship with a 13-0 record, and he was selected the national coach of the year.

"You reach a point where it's time to move on and let someone else take a run at it," Edwards said Thursday. "It's turned out a whole lot better than I ever, ever, ever dreamed."

Edwards' teams have won 20 conference titles and played in 22 bowl games. BYU also produced Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer in 1990, and had a string of other star quarterbacks including Steve Young and Jim McMahon.

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno called Edwards "one of the giants of our profession."

Val Hale, BYU's athletic director, said a search for a successor will begin "at some point where the timing is better."

Edwards said he made the decision to retire in January and knew in spring practice this would be his last season.

He told his players of his decision during a team meeting Thursday morning.

"It was really silent in that room and I even felt a little teary-eyed," said defensive end and team captain Setema Gnali. "You could feel a happy kind of sadness. We're happy for him, but it's sad because everyone thinks of coach Edwards and BYU as the same thing."

Edwards' prolific quarterbacks were some of the greatest passers in NCAA history. The string started with Gary Scheide and Gifford Nielsen in the 1970s and continued with McMahon, Young, Detmer and others.

BYU led the nation in passing seven times under Edwards.

Edwards enters his 29th season with a record of 251-95-3, ranking seventh all-time in Division I victories. He needs four victories to pass Tom Osborne for sixth place.

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Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden has agreed to move promptly out of his home as part of an agreement with the university that ends a dispute over whether he violated terms of a financial package he received when he quit in 1998. Bowden and Auburn announced the settlement in a prepared statement Wednesday. The agreement gave him until today to move out of the house. . . . Maryland running back LaMont Jordan, the NCAA's leading active rusher with 3,227 yards, is still taking summer school courses and must wait until after Aug. 25 to find out if he will be academically eligible for the season. Jordan went through the same process last year and was ready for the season opener. . . . Missouri cornerback John McPherson faces felony drug charges after police said they found about 100 pounds of marijuana in his car. McPherson, 20, a sophomore from Kansas City, could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Coach Larry Smith suspended McPherson from the team earlier this month. McPherson was arraigned July 28 and charged with second-degree drug trafficking, a Class B felony that carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison. McPherson was released July 31 after posting bond on $50,000 bail. No trial date has been set. . . . Western Kentucky free safety Bobby Sippio has been suspended from the team indefinitely because of "conduct and attitude unbecoming a Western Kentucky football player," Coach Jack Harbaugh said.

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