|Jerry Smith was a standout at the University of Wisconsin. (University of Wisconsin)|
Jerry Smith, 80, line coach with 10 pro football teams
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Jerry Smith, whose 26-year NFL coaching career included a stint as the
He was 80 and had been in declining health since suffering a heart attack four years ago.
Mr. Smith coached the offensive and defensive lines for 10 teams in the American and National Football Leagues from 1960 to 1985 before serving six seasons as a scout for the
He was drafted by the
Mr. Smith took over the Broncos after Lou Saban resigned in 1971 and went 2-3 before being replaced the following season by John Ralston.
“I think he really wanted the opportunity to take over the team the following year,’’ said his son. “He went 2-3 and was pulling guys off the street and really did a great job.
“But what was always important to him was coaching and teaching. He affected so many people. So, he was fulfilled. He valued assistant coaching as much as he did head coaching.’’
Mr. Smith coached with the Boston
He was best known for coaching the Sack Pack in Baltimore in the mid-1970s and for the Chargers’ dominating defensive line for several seasons after that.
Besides his son Jeffrey, Mr. Smith leaves his wife, Shirley, another son, and three daughters. Services are Monday in his hometown of San Diego.