TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Larry Smith, the emotional coach who led Southern California to the Rose Bowl three times and won 143 games with Tulane, Arizona, USC and Missouri, has died after a long bout with chronic lymphatic leukemia. He was 68.
Smith died Monday in a Tucson hospital, the University of Arizona confirmed.
His 24-year head coaching career began at Tulane, included seven years at Arizona and ended in 2000 at Missouri. Smith was 143-126-7 and his teams were 3-6-1 in bowl games.
Smith coached Southern California for six years, finishing 44-25-3, before he was fired on New Year's Day of 1993, his departure hastened by a 24-7 loss in the Freedom Bowl to unranked Fresno State.
Smith started his tenure at USC in 1987 and took the Trojans to the Rose Bowl in each of his first three seasons. The Trojans lost their first two Rose Bowls under Smith, before beating Michigan and his mentor, Bo Schembechler, in Schembechler's final game as Wolverines' coach after the 1989 season.
Smith remained active in recent years, including working with the College Football Hall of Fame and spearheading efforts to change coaching at the Pop Warner level to make sure youngsters get the proper football fundamentals. As part of that, Smith began an annual football clinic for Pop Warner coaches.
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press