Lyle Smith


One of the most dedicated men in athletics in the history of sports in the State of Idaho. A Whitman county native in Washington, moving to Moscow in 1924, his career made many marks in football and basketball at Moscow High School.

Coached by Gale Mix, Smith was a star in football leading his team to an undefeated season and played on state championship basketball teams in his junior and senior years, being selected to the All-State team twice. His college career started under Guy Wicks at the Southern Branch of the University of Idaho at Pocatello in 1934 where he was a linebacker and halfback and forward on the basketball team. The next three years Smith moved to the University of Idaho at Moscow where he was an outstanding center in football and played guard and was co-captain of the basketball team in his senior year.

Smith's first coaching job was at Firth, Idaho and following a year in the business field, he re­turned to coaching at Moscow High School in 1941. Smith was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy from 1942 through 1946, then returned to Moscow to finish work on his Masters De­gree. The fall of 1946 Smith started his illustrious career in Boise where he started as head basketball coach and assistant in football and also headed the Physical Education Dept. From 1947 to 1967, Smith served as head football coach at Boise Junior College, compiling a record of 158 wins, 25 losses and six ties. He took the Broncos to five Potato Bowl games, one junior Rose Bowl and his 1958 team won the National Junior College championship. He saw more service with the Navy during the Korean conflict, where he served for 22 months.

Returning as Athletic Director and head baseball coach at Boise, he served in these capacities with distinction through the transition from junior college to college and now Boise State University. He relinquished his coaching duties to devote his full time as director of athletics in 1973, and this year he will have completed 31 years of service with the Boise institution. Smith has served with distinction on several national committees including the most recent re-classification committee of the NCAA.

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