Bronco Beat

Boise State unveils statue of Lyle Smith; Dhaenens glad to increase production

Boise State unveiled a statue honoring legendary football coach Lyle Smith outside of Albertsons Stadium on Thursday.

Smith, who led Boise Junior College for 20 seasons between 1947 and 1967, was on hand for the event. Smith turned 100 years old March 17.

Five members of the BJC team that won the 1958 national championship helped remove the sheet covering the statue as more than a hundred boosters, staff and media looked on.

The statue was sculpted at Boise State by Ben Victor, an Artist in Residence and Professor of the Practice who has a gallery on campus and also created a statue of Steve Appleton that stands in front of the Micron Business and Economics Building.

At a cost of approximately $130,000, the statue was funded by private donations, including $5,000 each from the Broncos’ last four head coaches: Bryan Harsin, Chris Petersen, Dan Hawkins and Dirk Koetter.

The Legend of Lyle

Former coaches, governor wish Smith happy birthday

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In one game, Boise State junior tight end Alec Dhaenens doubled his production from the previous two seasons.

At Louisiana on Saturday, he had five catches for 40 yards, after posting four catches for 26 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore and freshman.

“But I lost my touchdown percentage,” Dhaenens said with a smile.

The Fruitland High grad has welcomed the uptick in activity in the passing game, albeit coming with junior Jake Roh’s absence in the opener with an injury. He had three catches his senior year of high school in 2012 before a season-ending injury, so those five catches represented production that was a long time coming.

“It felt good to be part of the offense again, getting the ball, making yards and contributing on third downs,” Dhaenens said. “... they asked me to step up for the job and got it done for them.”

Three of his five catches went for first downs in the 45-10 win. Dhaenens joked that he “kind of lost that feeling since high school,” and said he hopes he can be used more as the season progresses.

Typically utilized as a blocking tight end, Dhaenens showed his receiving ability, which could be another weapon in the Broncos’ arsenal once Roh returns. Coaches praised his ability to step up and take on more responsibility with the team’s top receiving tight end out.

“He’s a tough kid, a hard worker, he understands the offense, what we’re trying to accomplish, and he’s fit that role really well,” co-offensive coordinator Zak Hill said.

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