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LaVell Edwards becomes No. 1 trending topic on Twitter

Famed Brigham Young University football coach LaVell Edwards died Thursday at the age of 86, according to the coach’s longtime friend, Sy Kimball.

Minutes after his death, Edwards became the No. 1 trending topic in the United States on Twitter Thursday morning.

Edwards’ legacy will last a long time, according to our own Dick Harmon. The coach inspired a number of other prolific coaches, including the University of Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, BYU’s Kalani Sitake and Washington State’s Mike Leach.

He also served as an early model for storied NFL coaches including Andy Reid, Mike Holmgren and Brian Billick, according to the Deseret News.

Edwards, born on Oct. 11, 1930, also became the namesake of BYU’s current football stadium.

“LaVell Edwards’ legacy will forever be the feat of creating an iconic football brand from something that had always been so much less,” according to the Deseret News. “He was a man known for his remarkable insight into the souls of young men. An innovator and visionary, he made friends as easily as the rest of us breathe. He will be remembered as a tremendous example, a pillar among his peers.”

Gov. Gary Herbert shared his thoughts on Edwards in a statement.

As did Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, issued a statement on Thursday about Edwards’ death.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, LaVell Edwards. Coach Edwards was a gentle giant of the gridiron — a humble yet confident leader who guided the BYU football program through decades of unprecedented success,” Hatch said. “He was a champion both on and off the field. For thousands of athletes and millions of fans across the nation, LaVell was far more than a steady presence on the sideline; he was a visionary leader, a father figure and a trusted friend. I will be forever grateful for my own friendship with LaVell Edwards. He was not only one of the most successful coaches in college football history but one of the greatest men I ever knew. Today, my prayers are with Patti and all members of the Edwards family.”

Utah Sen. Jim Debakis issued a statement on Twitter.

Former BYU player and current radio host Hans Olsen shared his thoughts on Twitter, too.

Former BYU players, coaches and fans took to Twitter to share their condolences over Edwards’ death.

Utah fans also expressed heartwarming thoughts for Edwards.

Media members across the country from sports and new organizations alike paid homage to him, too.