BYU football coach LaVell Edwards and Jazz President Frank Layden have been named Utah Sportspersons of the Decade in voting by the Deseret News sports staff.
Only three people received votes for the honor, and Edwards andLayden finished in a dead-heat. Jazz owner Larry Miller finished a close third.
The criteria for the award was simple: Voters were asked to choose the person who had made the biggest contribution to sports in Utah in the 80s. Here's how some voters explained their choices:
"I think BYU's rise to consistent football dominance is one of the more remarkable building projects in the history of college football. And Edwards was unquestionably the architect." - Lee Benson
"In terms of national exposure, nobody's been quoted more than Frank Layden. He put Utah on the map." - Brad Rock
"Nobody, on a national basis, has had the impact (Edwards) has. He's taken that program and built it pretty much on his own. He's always been the guy who kept the program on the right track." - Doug Robinson
"I just think he's made Utah nationally recognizable, not only for helping bring the Jazz here but for building and coaching the team. He's made a national reputation." - Linda Hamilton
The tributes sound similar, and fittingly so. Edwards and Layden may not be entirely alike in personality and temperament, but they have one thing in common - a major contribution to Utah sports.