LaVell Edwards has a sense of humor as evidenced by these quotes collected by BYU Athletic Director Val Hale when he was an intern in the Sports Information Office:
"LaVell Edwards, BYU football coach, noting that he had 20 Mormon missionaries on his squad: "if we don't win our first few games, we might start looking for some hell raisers.'"-Sports Illustrated Scoreboard, August 23, 1976.
Question: "What are the major strengths and weaknesses on this year's team?" LaVell's answer: "The major strength is the coaching."
Edwards was asked if a Playboy magazine article predicting BYU to finish 7-5 in 1978 had any merit. Edwards' response: "Not too many people read Playboy in Provo."
LaVell joined the BYU staff in 1962 "because they were one of the last teams to run the single wing, and I think I was the last living Mormon who knew anything about that offense."
"I just need to do a thesis, so I asked Dallin Oaks (then BYU President) if the Fiesta Bowl trip would suffice for the thesis. He said, 'No.'"
LaVell received his doctor's degree in education in August of 1978. In response to a question about what he would like to be called Doc, LaVell or Coach, he said, "If we have a winning season in 1978, fans can still call me 'coach." But if we don't, maybe they should call me 'doctor.'"
When someone mentioned that LaVell's name is not a household word among national football fans, LaVell responded: "That's okay. They know me here. They cash my checks."
Edwards reasons for not attending BYU as a student: "If I'd gone to the 'Y," I would have had to live at home. And if I'd been living at home, my job would have been milking the cows. I was sick of milking those two darned cows, I'd have gone to Utah to get away from 'em. Well, maybe not Utah, but I wanted to get away."
"During those 10 years (in which LaVell was an assistant coach) we had two successful seasons at BYU, never a household word in football. That was when we had (QB) Virgil Carter. When I was made the head man, I decided to return to the passing game. It took us two years to get our first good quarterback, Gary Sheide. We've been winners six out of seven years since then. Regardless of how good we get, I'll never go away from throwing the football."
Edwards before his team won Holiday Bowl III: "I could just see my epitaph. It will read; 'He won a thousand games, but he couldn't win a bowl game.'"
Jeffrey Holland and Dallin Oaks, BYU's former presidents, once asked LaVell if he wouldn't like the comfort of a life-time contract. LaVell said, "No, you guys would just call me in after a losing season and pronounce me dead."
LaVell after his miraculous 46-45 Holiday Bowl victory: "If I had any sense at all I'd quit right now."
A Sports Illustrated article described Edwards as a "large, lumpy chap, secretly something of a poet and a romantic." Edwards called a columnist at the Provo Daily Herald to find out what that meant. She told him, "it means you're a fat daydreamer." The columnist was Patti Edwards, LaVell's wife.
Bill Orwig, sports director of San Diego's channel 10, introduced LaVell at a Holiday Bowl luncheon by saying, "Here is the best-known person in Utah since Donnie and Marie." LaVell responded "Donnie and Marie who?"
LaVell: "Do we run up the score? Well, I don't think so, but I already have my speech prepared for the next WAC coaches' meeting. I'm going to ask all the coaches whether they thought we ran up the score, then point my finger at Doug Scovil, the new San Diego coach, and say it was all his fault and now they can take it out on him."
Edwards: "I very much plan on coming back here for next year's bowl game. I don't know whether my players will be joining me though."
Before Holiday Bowl I, Navy's coach, George Welsh described his team as "kind of slow and not very big, but we sure are smart." LaVell responded, "George, when it comes to football, I'd rather have 'em big, fast and dumb."
Former BYU Men's Golf Coach Karl Tucker had occasion to speak at a banquet with LaVell and told this story about Edwards: "My face is happy, my body just doesn't know it."
Hale says Edwards "will continue assist the university and the athletic department in fund raising for athletic facilities and scholarships," after he retires this year.