Renowned Boise State Football Coach, Lyle Smith, Dies At 101

Jul 26, 2017

Renowned Boise State football coach, Lyle Smith, died Tuesday night at the age of 101. He left a legacy of dedication and victory within the Bronco athletics program.



Smith graduated from Moscow high school 1934 and attended the University of Idaho, receiving his bachelor’s in education with a minor in history. After teaching at Moscow High and serving in the naval reserve during WW11, Smith returned to U of I for graduate school.


It was in 1946 when Smith moved south to Boise to begin his career as a football coach at the forerunner to Boise State, Boise Junior College. Over the years, he drove Boise Junior College’s football team to become the number one Junior College team in the country. Soon after becoming Director of Athletics at Boise State College, Smith oversaw construction of what is now known as Albertsons stadium. He also worked with the Women’s Athletic Director, Connie Thorngren, to establish intercollegiate women’s sports.

After retiring in 1981, Smith continued to show unwavering support to Boise State athletics. He was commonly seen working out at the football team’s facility and dropping by football practices. When Boise State’s famous blue turf was installed in 1986, it was christened “Lyle Smith Field.” Smith was 101.


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