Lyle Smith Papers, 1926-2000  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Smith, Lyle H., 1916-
Lyle Smith Papers
1926-2000 (inclusive)
6.0 linear feet, (8 boxes, plus oversize material)
Collection Number
MSS 085
Scrapbooks, correspondence, teaching and coaching material, memorabilia, articles, and photos relating to Smith's participation in high school and college sports in Idaho, his career as football coach at Boise Junior College (1946-1968), and his World War II service with the U.S. Navy as a physical training instructor.
Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
1910 University Drive
Boise ID
Telephone: 208-426-3958
Access Restrictions

Collection is available for research.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Lyle H. Smith, the son of Burrel F. Smith and Addie (Humphrey) Smith, was born March 17, 1916, in the rural town of Steptoe, Washington. He attended Moscow High School in Moscow, Idaho, where he was actively involved in sports, playing varsity football and basketball for two consecutive years. Smith distinguished himself in both sports and for his efforts he was awarded a high school letter for each. In 1933 and 1934, Smith helped the Moscow High School basketball squad win the coveted title of "State Champions". Also, in 1933 he was chosen amongst his colleagues to represent Moscow High School on the "All State Team".

On May 23, 1934, Smith graduated from Moscow High School. In the fall of that year, he entered the University of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello, as a physical education major and graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow on June 5, 1939 with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in history. Also, he was the center for the University of Idaho football team and guard for the basketball team. Upon graduating from college, Smith began what would be a lifelong career of teaching and coaching. From September of 1939 to May of 1949, he taught social sciences and physical education at Moscow High School, where he also coached athletics and served as the "M" club advisor.

With the United States entrance into World War II, Lyle Smith, like many of his generation, entered the military to participate in the war effort. In June of 1942, Smith was notified of his acceptance into the Naval Reserve. On June 15, 1942, Smith reported to the Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to start school in the Navy's V-5 Physical Fitness Instructor Course. On August 29, 1942, after completing the V-5 course, Smith was assigned to the Navy's Pre-Flight School at St. Mary's College in California as a Physical Training Officer. In September of 1943, Smith was transferred from St. Mary's College to the U.S. Naval Air Station in Livermore, California. At Livermore he instructed Aviation Cadets in physical education and standard military training. In 1944, the United States began to intensify the war effort in the Pacific theater and with this Lyle Smith was reassigned to Pearl Harbor in September of that year. While in Pearl Harbor he worked at the Naval Supply Depot where he supervised the handling of cargo that was being prepared for the supply lines in the Pacific. He served at Pearl Harbor until November 1, 1945, at which time he was released from active duty and transferred back to the continental United States to process out of the Navy in Los Angeles, California.

With the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Second World War ended and many of America's soldiers that returned home took advantage of the educational benefits being offered to them by the United States government. For Lyle Smith this meant an opportunity to return to the University of Idaho to attend Graduate School. In 1946, Smith received a Master of Science in Education from the University of Idaho. To fulfill the requirements for his Masters Degree, Smith wrote a professional paper titles "A Recreational Program for the Youth of a City under 10,000 Population".

In 1946, Smith came to Boise Junior College (BJC) to fill the position of assistant to head football coach Harry Jacoby. A year later, Jacoby resigned and Smith became the head football coach for BJC, a position he held until the end of 1967 football season. Smith left an impressive record in his 21 years of coaching at Boise Junior/State College with a record of 158 wins, 25 losses, and 6 ties. Under his leadership, the Broncos were invited to seven post-season Junior College Bowl Games such as the Potato Bowl and Little Rose Bowl. In 1949, Smith took BJC to Bakersfield, California to play in the Kern County Shrine Potato Bowl where in front of 12,000 fans BJC upset Taft Junior College with a final score of 25 to 7. In the middle of the 1950 football season Lyle Smith, like many other veterans of World War II, was called back into military service for the Korean War but resumed coaching duties in August of 1952 upon returning home. In 1958, at Bronco Stadium, BJC defeated Tyler College of Texas, thus winning the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship, a victory that gave them the honor of being the number one Junior College football team in the country that year. In addition to coaching football, Lyle Smith also served as a baseball coach for Boise Junior/State College club team.

In his 21 years as head football coach, Smith's teams remained a dominant figure in the Intermountain Collegiate Athletic Conference winning the conference title 16 out of 21 times. In January of 1968, Smith officially resigned as head football coach and was rehired in March to serve as Boise State College's Director of Athletics, a position he held until retirement in 1981. During his tenure as Athletic Director, Bronco Stadium was built and construction on the Pavilion was started. On September 11, 1970, BJC's football field was dedicated as the "Lyle Smith Field".

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers of Lyle H. Smith consist of naval correspondence, college term papers, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, military certificates, photographs, and correspondence relating to his coaching and teaching career. Additionally, there are numerous documents relating to Smith's high school and college sports activities.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[item description], Lyle Smith Papers, Box [number] Folder [number], Boise State University Special Collections and Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 California Department of Education 1944-1945
1 2 Certificates 1939-1981
1 3 Correspondence 1939-1986
1 4 Boy Scouts undated
1 5 Navy: Certificates 1946-1954
1 6 Navy: Group Photo undated
1 7 Navy: Manual 1939
1 8 Navy: Memorabilia 1944-1945
1 9 Navy: Official Military Correspondence 1942-1953
1 10 Navy: U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School, St. Mary's College undated
1 11 Navy: Regulations 1944-1947
1 12 Navy: Rosters 1942-1943
2 1 Navy: Training Courses 1946, 1953
2 2 Navy: V-Five Directories 1948-1950
2 3 Personal 1941-1947, 1970
2 4 College Correspondence 1934-1946
2 5 College Newspaper Clippings 1935-1939
2 6 High School Correspondence 1929-1934
2 7 High School Newspaper Articles 1930-1934
2 8 High School Teaching 1940-1942
2 10 University of Idaho Coursework undated
3 1 American Football Coaches Association
3 2 Articles 1949-1973
3 3 Articles about Lyle Smith 1971-2004
3 4 Boise Junior College/Boise State College Coaching 1949-1968
3 5 Boise Junior College Football 1950-1964
3 6 Boise Junior College Football Scholarships 1947, 1956
3 7 Boise Junior College 1947 Football Team Reunion 1997
3 8 Boise Junior College 1951 Football Team Reunion 2001
3 6 Boise College Football 1965
3 10 Boise State College Football 1971-1972
Boise State University Athletics 1981-2006
Box Folder
4 1-2 Bronco Athletic Association 1979-2005
4 3 California, North Dakota Football 1935, 1951
4 4 Ditto Practice Lessons in Football by maury A. Kent 1935
4 5 Football Playbook undated
4 6 Fundamentals of Basketball Coaching by Forrest F. Twogood undated
4 7 Illustrated Football Annual 1937-1938, 1948
4 8 Junior Rose Bowl 1950, 1956
4 9 Lyle Smith Day 1981
4 10 The Modern Formation with Man-in-Motion by Clark Shaughnessy, Ralph Jones, George Halas undated
4 11 Naval Training Center Football 1950-1951
5 1 Outline of Basketball course by A.T. "Slats" Gill undated
5 2 Rose Bowl 1951
5 3 Shrine Evergreen Football Game 1956, 1967
5 4 Shrine Potato Bowl 1954, 1957, 1965
5 5 Speak Up for Football by the American Football Coaches Association 1981
5 6 Stan Musial's How the Majors Play Baseball by Bob Broeg 1957
5 7 Touchdown Club 1981
5 8 University of Idaho Basketball 1936-1940
5 9-10 University of Idaho Football 1934-1939
5 11 Wing-T and the Chinese Bandits by Paul F. Dietzel 1958
5 12 Photos: Lyle Smith 1928-2003
5 13 Photos: Baseball 1950s, 1972
5 14 Photos: Basketball 1950s
6 1 Photos: Football 1940s-1950s
6 2 Photos: Potato Bowl 1954, 1957
6 3 Photos: 1947 Football Team Reunion 1997
6 4 Photos: 1953-1954 Football Team Reunion 2004
6 5 Photos: Wally Brown undated
7 Memorabilia
7 Bobby Dodd on Football by Robert L. "Bobby" Dodd 1955
7 Baseball: Individual Play and Team Strategy by John W. "Jack" Coombs 1947
7 The Tumult and the Shouting: My Life in Sport by Grantland Rice 1954
8 Fedoras
7, 9-10 Scrapbooks 1946-1972, 2000
11 Memorabilia: plaques, 1954 Potato Bowl football jacket, 1980 signed football, film "End of an Era" (1967), hats, Navy
1 Portrait

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Boise (Idaho)
  • Boise Junior College--Football
  • Football
  • Sport
  • United States. Navy--Physical training