Lyle Smith (1916-2017)

July 26, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - Lyle Smith, the "Father of Boise State Football," head football coach of the Bronco program from 1947-67 and Boise State Athletics Director from 1967-81, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 101.

Below are statements from Boise State University on the passing of Lyle Smith:

Dr. Bob Kustra, Boise State University President
"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."

Curt Apsey, Executive Director of Athletics
"We are forever grateful to Lyle for his leadership both as a coach and an administrator. What you see today - a blue collar mentality and a culture of hard work in every way - was established by Lyle long ago, and because of him, will always be part of who we are."

Bryan Harsin, Boise State Football Head Coach
“It goes well beyond the football side of things with Lyle. 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.”

Smith, a football, baseball, and basketball coach, and athletic director at Boise State, came to Boise Junior College in 1946 as basketball coach and assistant football coach. In 1947, he became head coach of the BJC football program and didn’t lose a game until his fourth season. His 1958 team won the National Junior College championship. Smith retired from coaching after the 1967 season. In his 20 years as the head football coach at BJC; he compiled a 156-25-6 record, an 83 percent winning percentage. Smith continued to lead Boise State’s athletic program as athletic director until his retirement after the 1980-81 academic year. Smith guided Boise State’s transition from a junior college power to a highly successful NCAA Division I athletic program.

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