Two-Time All-American and College Football Hall Of Famer Harry Smith Dies
July 31, 2013
Harry Smith, a College Football Hall of Famer who was a two-time All-American on USC Rose Bowl teams of the 1930s, died on Tuesday (July 30) in Columbia, Mo. He was 94.
He had been in declining health in the last few years after a stroke.
Smith, a pulling guard who was known as "Blackjack" because of the cast he wore on one hand during the 1939 season, earned All-American first team honors at USC in 1938 and 1939 (unanimous), helping the Trojans to back-to-back Rose Bowl victories. The 1938 team beat a previously unbeaten, unscored-upon Duke squad in the 1939 Rose Bowl, 7-3, and the 1939 Trojans shut out a previously unscored-upon Tennessee team in the 1940 Rose Bowl, 14-0, en route to winning the national championship.
The three-year (1937-39) letterman came to USC from Chaffey High in Ontario (Calif.). He also played rugby at USC.
He played in the 1940 College All-Star Game. He then was Detroit's fifth round selection in the 1940 NFL Draft and he played tackle for the Lions that season.
He then became a coach, including an assistant at USC (1949-50) and Missouri (1941 and 1952-66), helping the Tigers to a pair of conference championships, a Sugar Bowl berth in 1941 and the school's first-ever bowl win (1961 Orange Bowl). He was the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 1951.
He then was a professor of health and physical education at Missouri and was the school's intramural director from 1973 to 1983.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1974, the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999 and the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. He was born in Russellville, Mo., on Aug. 26, 1918, then his family moved to Ontario in 1920.
He is survived by his wife, Mabel, his son, Harry Jr., and his daughter, Judy Huff. Funeral services are pending.