Lyle Smith, former Boise State football coach, AD passes away at 101

Boise State said on Wednesday that Lyle Smith has died at the age of 101. (KBOI File Photo)

The "God Father" of Boise State Football has passed away.

Boise State said on Wednesday that Lyle Smith has died at 101. In his 20 years as head coach, he never had a losing season, won 13 conference titles, and the 1958 NJCAA National Championship.

Smith was head coach of the Broncos from 1947 to 1967.

Less than a year ago, the university unveiled a statue of Smith in front of the Allen Noble Hall of Fame and captures Smith in his signature pose—perched on the sideline, watching his team. It was sculpted by BSU professor and artist-in-residence, Ben Victor.

“Miss Lori and I are deeply saddened by news of Coach Smith’s passing," Governor Otter said. "He was a great motivator, an inspiration to everyone who knew him, and a mentor to those of us lucky enough to have played for him. Boise State, its athletic program and the entire community are better because Lyle Smith was here. Our prayers are with his family and the many friends who mourn him.”

Boise State Reactions

"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."

- President Dr. Bob Kustra

"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."

- Director of Athletics Curt Apsey

“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.”

- Head Coach Bryan Harsin

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off