It’s a sad day in Bronco Nation. Coach Lyle Smith, the spry and ever-present fixture at Boise State has passed away at the age of 101. Smith actually came to Boise State in 1946 as a basketball coach and a football assistant, but took the reins of the BJC program the following year and DID NOT LOSE A GAME UNTIL HIS FOURTH SEASON. Twelve years after his arrival on campus, he led the team to the NJCAA National Championship. In his 20 years as the head coach of the Broncos, Smith compiled a 156-25-6 record and after his retirement from head coaching duties in 1967, handed the reins to another dearly-departed Bronco legend—Tony Knap—and became the school’s athletic director...a position he held for another 13 years, in which he saw his Broncos win another national title—this time at the 1AA division.
Smith was a constant cheerleader, motivator, and inspirational presence on the sidelines of the field that bears his name and hardly ever missed a BAA meeting or a camp. Even with limited mobility in recent years, Boise’s old ball coach could be found working out at the campus rec or football facility or chatting with current and former players about what it means to be a Bronco. We’ve written at length about Smith over the years...usually marking each passing of another year in the resilient coaches life, and we've also shared a lot of stories from his brilliant life and career, but today I'll just leave these tweets from those who got to know him over the years as a testament to the man and what he meant to this program and community. You'll be missed, coach.
R.I.P. Coach Smith. A genuine Bronco legend He meant to this community, and will continue to mean more than can be put into words— Elliot Hoyte (@elliothoyte) July 26, 2017
RIP coach Lyle Smith you gave this earth everything you could for 101 years. You'll always be remembered— Jeremy McNichols (@JeremyMcNichols) July 26, 2017
RIP To the Legendary Lyle Smith. Thanks for your contribution to the game and for your unwavering support. #OnceABroncoAlwaysABronco— Jason Robinson (@JasonRobinson) July 26, 2017
RIP to the Legend. Everyone who has passed through the Boise State program understands what this man meant to it. Everything. https://t.co/8B0tEllQF8— Chase Baker (@chasebaker91) July 26, 2017
Sad day for Bronco Nation. The man that cultivated the Blue Collar Mentality and personified Toughness. May your legacy live on! pic.twitter.com/ZTmv6Rai0b— Rob Ash (@heyyoitsrobb) July 26, 2017
Rest In Peace Coach Smith, thank you.— Beau Martin (@IronBronc0) July 26, 2017
So sorry to hear of the passing of Lyle Smith. @BroncoSportsFB would not be where it is without his leadership. So glad to have known him.— Bob Behler (@BsuBob) July 26, 2017