Homer Austin Smith

  • "Georgie Collins - your husband Don was my senior cabin..."
    - Dale Welch
  • "Not likely to see the likes of such a man again. Homor was..."
    - Dale Welch
  • "Kathy, I'm so sorry to read about Homers death. I have..."
    - Jane Cotton
  • "Dear Kathy and family, I was so saddened to read of Homer's..."
    - Georgie Collins
  • "Dear Kathy, I heard from our friend Eric Jones that Homer..."
    - Don Rumsfeld

TUSCALOOSA Homer Austin Smith, age 79, of Tuscaloosa, died April 10, 2011, at home. A memorial service will be 1 p.m. today, April 15, 2011, at First United Methodist Church with Dr. Ken Dunivant officiating and Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. Visitation will be today after the service in Chitwood Hall at the church.

Mr. Smith is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years Kathryn Haskell Smith; daughter Kimberly Smith Hall and son-in-law, Leamon Hall of Johns Creek, Ga.; daughter, Carolyn Smith Carpenter and son-in-law, Dr. Wayne Carpenter of Wilbraham, Mass.; grandchildren, Taylor Hall of West Point, N.Y., Shelby Hall of Johns Creek, Ga., and Madalyn and Thomas Carpenter of Wilbraham, Mass.

Honored by the American Football Coaches Association in 2007 with the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award "for contributions to the football coaching profession mentorship of his fellow coaches, and outstanding teaching of student-athletes", Coach Smith's football experience spanned over five decades. Smith served as Head Coach at Davidson College, University of Pacific, and the U.S. Military Academy, and as offensive coordinator at UCLA (three times), for the Kansas City Chiefs, Alabama (twice), and Arizona, and as backfield coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Stanford. In 1990, The Sporting News named him Offensive Coach of the Year, and in 1977 he was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach. Smith coached in four Rose Bowls and also in the Citrus, Fiesta, Sugar, Tangerine, Freedom, Bluebonnet, Sun, Gator, and Insight.com Bowls.

Smith was enshrined in the Davidson Hall of Fame in 2000 and was also honored with a lifetime membership in the Army Football Club in 2008. He earned a Bachelors degree from Princeton where he was the captain of the football team, an MBA degree from Stanford, and a Masters of Theological Studies degree from Harvard. He served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Field Artillery.

Most important to him, however, was his family, and he treasured time with his four grandchildren. His pride and joy was his home library filled with books on anything from religion to words. He was an avid wordsmith, wrote several acclaimed books on football, and published a novel. We can use his own oft-used words to describe his life- "So fine".

Honorary pallbearers are all players he coached and men with whom he coached.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to First United Methodist Church, 800 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, or to Big Oak Ranch, P.O. Box 507, Springville, AL 35146.

Condolences may be offered at www.heritagechapeltuscaloosa.com.
Published in Tuscaloosa News from Apr. 11 to Apr. 15, 2011
Lifetime member of the Army Football Club, 2008 Homer, Kathy, and granddaughter Maddy at Grandparents Day, 2005 Summer 2010 at North River Homer Austin Smith
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Heritage Chapel Funeral Home
5200 Old Birmingham Hwy | Tuscaloosa, AL 35404 | (205) 553-3555
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