Former Utah, BYU coaches spice up Rivalry for Charity golf event
Leave it to former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards and former University of Utah coach Ron McBride to breathe some life and levity into a charity golf event that was starting to lose some of its charm, starting to get a little too serious.
The two old friends showed up Monday at the 23rd annual Rivalry for Charity golf tournament you know, the one where the losing coach is supposed to don the other team's apparel and sing his rival's fight song at The Country Club of Salt Lake City and exchanged a few friendly barbs and jabs, all while current Utes coach Kyle Whittingham and current Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall looked on with a degree of envy (at least in Mendenhall's case).
Edwards' team of Derek Roney, Richard Watson and Rick Johnson shot a 14-under-par 58 in the scramble format to easily best McBride's team, which fired a 73. But instead of having McBride sing like one of the coaches did years ago to make this event benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho an annual media affair, the two shared the microphone and ribbed each other and their former schools.
Quipped Edwards: "I am glad he didn't discover the forward pass when he was at Utah, or he would probably still be there."
Replied McBride: "I'm the one that left that six pack of beer on your porch."
In the current-coach competition, Whittingham's team, with fewer ringers than in past years, shot a 56 to best Mendenhall's player-filled team, which had a 64. Whittingham brought one current player linebacker Chaz Walker and two former Ute quarterbacks and golf aces Scott Mitchell and Scott Cate.
Mendenhall brought defensive back Carter Mees, offensive lineman Braden Hansen and kick returner J.D. Falslev.
Mendenhall was expecting to have to sing the Ute fight song, or something close to it, he said later. But organizers played the BYU fight song. He quickly exchanged his red pom-pom for a blue one and sang the correct words, aided by four Cougar cheerleaders.
"I never quite know what the heck is going to happen when I get up there," Mendenhall said. "I had the red pom-pom, but I didn't know the words to the Utes' fight song. Then the Cougar one went. At least I knew the words to that, so I switched out. But at some point both teams will have current players and it will be really fun."
Mendenhall has balked at singing in the past, but the presence of Edwards and McBride seemed to ease whatever tensions have existed in the past few years.
Mendenhall even joked that Whittingham is slowly coming around to the notion of using current players, rather than ringers.
"You would think after four or five years he would get the hint [about using current players]," Mendenhall said with a laugh. "I'm just kidding."
The BYU coach said it was "fun" to have Edwards and McBride at the event and watch them interact.
"You can kind of see what a rivalry could be and the camaraderie and mutual respect [they have for each other]," Mendenhall said. " I am not sure what other rivalry in the country would have two [former] coaches with that kind of relationship. But it is awesome."
The Utah County-based team of Dan Hansgen, John Hansgen, Jed Hansgen and Steve Hansgen two sets of brothers shot a 55 to win the event and earned Nike drivers, commemorative framed trophies and an invitation to compete in the Liberty Mutual National Championship at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.
Edwards' team also qualified to win the Pinehurst trip because it featured four players with established UGA handicaps of 43 (combined) or higher and just one single-digit player. It finished second, while third place went to Chance Allred, Ryan Adams, Tyler Adams and long-drive winner Keith Dyer.