Former Vol lineman Daryle Smith dies

Memorial service Saturday

Daryle Smith, a Knoxville native and former lineman who started at offensive tackle for the 1985 SEC and Sugar Bowl championship squad, died at UT Medical Center. He was 46.

Photo by UT Athletic Dept.

Daryle Smith, a Knoxville native and former lineman who started at offensive tackle for the 1985 SEC and Sugar Bowl championship squad, died at UT Medical Center. He was 46.

Former Tennessee football player Daryle Smith, 46, died early Thursday morning at UT Medical Center.

Mr. Smith, who played offensive tackle at UT from 1984-86, was a Powell High School graduate who went on to a nine-year professional career. He played from 1987-88 with the Dallas Cowboys, 1989 with the Cleveland Browns and 1990-92 with the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by four years in the Canadian Football League.

Mr. Smith was a part of one of the legendary victories in UT football history. He played on the offensive line in the 1986 Sugar Bowl in which the Vols upset No. 2 Miami, 35-7.

Phillip Fulmer coached the offensive line during that time. At a 2005 reunion he fondly remembered that group.

“Probably, that was the best unit I coached as a position coach,” Fulmer said.

Mr. Smith was especially well known in the Powell community where served for a time on the Powell High School coaching staff.

“Only two players have their numbers retired at Powell,” then coach Clark Duncan said in a 1997 News Sentinel story, “Daryle Smith and John Bruhin. Those guys are legends around here.”

Powell football coach Matt Lowe said it was hard not to like Daryle Smith.

“I don’t remember anybody who did not like him after you sit down and talk to him for 15 or 20 minutes,” Lowe said Thursday. “He had a personality and was a great story teller.

“The players would come in and see this massive, massive man; but then he’d start talking with them and before long they were automatically following him and hanging on his every word,” said Lowe of Smith, who was listed at 6-foot-5, 277 pounds during his playing career.

Cause of death was not revealed, however, WVLT reported that Smith checked into UT Medical Center on Tuesday with pancreatic issues and gall stones. He died at approximately 5:30 a.m.

Mr. Smith was employed by Steel Light Construction of Sevierville.

Mr. Smith was the father of tight end Lee Smith, who originally signed with Tennessee, and is a starting tight end for Marshall.

Memorial service will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mynatt Halls Chapel with Jim Branch officiating. The family was receive friend 5-7 p.m. there on Saturday.

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Comments » 42

bspurlingcac#225603 writes:

Very sad news.

nocleats writes:

Prayers.

tnsportsman writes:

Our prayers are with the Smith family. RIP our great Vols Smith!

HOSSFLY writes:

sad and way too early in life to depart. anybody that was associated with that beatdown of that trash-talkin thug miami team and disrespectful (of ut) coach jj is special to the vol nation. thanks ds.

BigBadVol writes:

Very sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Wow, This is shocking. Give your kids or parents a big hug cause you never know when t will be their last one.

gamecockfan writes:

So sorry to hear keeping family in prayers and thoughts

volfan53 writes:

A great player who will always be remembered at UT. May his family find peace in these trying times. Lets all pray for his family.

VolNavy1 writes:

This is sad news. God bless Daryle Smith's family. He was a great player and a apparently a greater man.

LCfastball writes:

Thoughts and prayers from our family to the Smith family...

GreerVol22 writes:

RIP

rhmhrh writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Wow, This is shocking. Give your kids or parents a big hug cause you never know when t will be their last one.

Well said...
Ross

woody45#537767 writes:

I was deer hunting at the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area the afternoon I heard that Tennessee would be playing Miami in the Sugar Bowl. I knew the Vols were in for a tough game but, thanks to players like Daryle Smith on that Big Orange team, we put a whuppin' on that Miami bunch they'll never forget. When I drive home this afternoon the sunset will be orange and that will be Daryle, still proud to be a Vol.

HighlandVol writes:

Sad news indeed. Please remember that if you haven't told a loved one you love them today, you may not get another chance. To the Smith Family go my condolences and prayers.

Requiem Aeternam.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

A sad day in the ORange Nation.

I was only 12, but I remember that game, how UT was supposed to have their butts handed to them by Miami.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I was very young when UT beat Miami but remember the game well. Rest in peace, great man, great VOL!

VolNavy1 writes:

In tribute to a great Tennessee Volunteer and a true southern gentleman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23iaMm...

sherwood351 writes:

I graduated with Daryle and became closer to him after he moved back to the Powell area when he retired from playing ball when he was a customer at the bank I worked for at the time. He was a wonderful man and just one of the sweetest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a true gentle giant. This is so devastating, I am just so sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Karen and their three boys. He loved his family so much. Rest in peace, my friend. I will miss you always.

Moaninglikeheck writes:

Several "yars" in the Candian league? Come on KNS, hire a proofreader.

Condolences to the family and friends of Daryle Smith.

ctownvol writes:

Prayers to his family.

badkarma01 writes:

An ORANGE flame burning in his honor in my man room. The family will miss you...a true legend!

jmatt62 writes:

I was at that Sugar Bowl vs. Miami in '86 and remember DS. Great game for the Vol history books. Prayers for the Smith family.

TSNVol writes:

His family will be in our prayers. Sorry to hear this.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to TSNVol:

His family will be in our prayers. Sorry to hear this.

yes...sad

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jmatt62:

I was at that Sugar Bowl vs. Miami in '86 and remember DS. Great game for the Vol history books. Prayers for the Smith family.

Ditto, ditto. Another good man gone too soon.

TNboy1972 writes:

Wow. I knew Daryle when he worked at the Boys and Girls Club right after he finished playing in the Canadian league. I was in my last year at UT. He was such a nice, funny and personable guy. Really gave me some great personal advice that I still remember and think about from time to time. Definitely made a great impression on me. Rest in peace.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

You will always be loved and remembered as a Vol. I don't actually remember him because I started watching football only a couple of years earlier when I was about 9. He was an important part of the line that blew open holes for Powell that season. Any passing of a Vol is sad to hear. Like Mahelona, this guy was too young.

shaymous writes:

R.I.P. And thank you for letting us all know you....

joebomb writes:

Hey KNS...how bout some pictures from his Ut playing days? Very sad.

illorangevol writes:

God be with the family.

volsoutwest writes:

A great Vol. Rest in peace big man. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Ringside writes:

God speed and RIP. Thoughts and prayers with your loved ones Mr. Smith.

USNVOL writes:

May the Smith family have peace through this sad time. RIP Daryle

MR_VOL writes:

My thoughts and prayers are with his family. God Bless.

tnaseevol writes:

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Mr. Smith. He was a great VOL

pdhuff#552644 writes:

God speed, Vol.

Family made that trip. What a 80 yd+ (I believe) by a Vol TB in that tilt. High in the Dome in narrow seats. Great evening, thanks again.

AWOLVol writes:

This is so very sad. He was a classmate at UT and I remember him fondly. He was a part of something very special at UT ('85 Vols), but nothing so special as his family. My prayers are with them and his whole community. Rest in peace, Big Man!!!

MidTennVol writes:

Always a Vol. Rest easy.

illinoisvolfan writes:

One of the unsung heroes on a truly great Vols squad. Glad to find out he was an even better man. Prayers go out to his family and friends.

rbhobbs73#226545 writes:

RIP Darryle....Condolences and prayers to the Smith family.

ProudVol56 writes:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Smith family.

Volumnus writes:

He was truly one of the good guys. He will be missed. My condolences and prayers.

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