Boise State Football

‘A first-class guy all the way’: Bronco Nation mourns Smith’s death

Former Boise State players honor Lyle Smith with fedoras

A large group of former Boise State football players honor BSU coaching legend Lyle Smith by wearing fedoras for the annual Gus Urresti Benefit Scramble at Warm Springs Golf Course in Boise Friday Oct. 14, 2016.
Up Next
A large group of former Boise State football players honor BSU coaching legend Lyle Smith by wearing fedoras for the annual Gus Urresti Benefit Scramble at Warm Springs Golf Course in Boise Friday Oct. 14, 2016.

Bronco Nation reacted with sadness and respect for the legacy of former Boise State football coach and athletic director Lyle Smith, who died Wednesday at 101 years old.

“He was one of the most unselfish people I’ve ever been around and made everyone around him feel special. Our team had so much respect for him, and he meant so much to our program. He was an incredible man, and this is a very sad day for Boise State,” said Boise State football head coach Bryan Harsin.

Here’s how other Boise State fans memorialized the godfather of Bronco athletics Wednesday.

▪ ▪ ▪ 

Chris Petersen, former Boise State football coach who is now the head coach at the University of Washington:

“My first reaction, obviously, was, “Oh, no. And then after you catch your breath, you think about just what an unbelievable life. … That’s what I think about Coach Smith — what an impact he had on Boise State, on the people he coached, or didn’t even coach but got to know.”

▪ ▪ ▪ 

▪ ▪ ▪ 

Bryan Harsin, Chris Petersen, Gov. Butch Otter, Gene Bleymaier, Karl Benson and Dirk Koetter all wish the grandfather of Boise State football, Lyle Smith, a happy 100th birthday.

Boise State President Dr. Bob Kustra:

“Football has played a dominant role in Boise State University’s success over the years, and Lyle Smith started it all. He was the leader and the coach who established the record of excellence that continues to exist today. Along with so many of our fellow Broncos, we are saddened by his death but heartened to know his memory and his legacy will persist for many years to come.”

▪ ▪ ▪ 

▪ ▪ ▪ 

▪ ▪ ▪ 

Legendary Boise State football coach Lyle Smith spoke to a crowd of well-wishers at his retirement party in 1981 in this video provided by the Boise State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

Dirk Koetter, former Boise State coach who now is the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL

“... A builder — a guy that saw the transition from two-year school to a four-year school and later became the AD and then from a builder to an ambassador. You couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for Boise State football and for Boise State University. A first-class guy all the way.”

▪ ▪ ▪ 

▪ ▪ ▪ 

Related stories from Idaho Statesman

  Comments