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Legendary Broncos coach Lyle Smith dies

Posted: 10:21 AM, Jul 26, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-26 22:46:40-04

Lyle Smith, the father of Boise State football has died.  He was 101 years old.

Smith took over as head coach in 1947 and remained in that position for 21 years.

During his time with the Broncos, Smith led them to seven junior college bowl games winning more than 150 total games, including a national title in 1958.

He retired with 16 conference championships under his belt.

Boise State Head Coach Bryan Harsin talked about Smith's impact on the program and the community during a news conference this morning.

"You can go back and look at the football part of things, it goes well beyond that,"  Harsin said.  "Lyle is one of the most unselfish people around.  He could make everyone around him feel good."

Last fall the school honored Smith with a statue outside Albertsons Stadium.

"It was unbelievable that he had the opportunity to see the statue that we have of hi out there.  I think that's something that was probably more special than the statue itself, that he is there and gets a chance to see it and reflect on it," Harsin said.

In 1980 the school named the field at Bronco Stadium "Lyle Smith Field."
 
Smith grew up in  Steptoe, Washington.  He attended the University of Idaho as a two-sport athlete.  He was a center on the football team and a guard on the basketball team.  He graduated in 1939.

He started as an assistant coach at Boise Junior College In 1946.

WATCH: LYLE SMITH TALKS ON 99TH BIRTHDAY

In 1950 Smith left the school to fight in the Korean War with the Navy.  He served for two years before returning to Boise.  

He eventually retired as head coach to take over as athletic director in 1968, and retired from that position in 1981.

FORMER COACHES REFLECT ON LYLE SMITH LEGACY AT BOISE STATE