Jerry Smith
Football card illustration of Smith wearing a number 73 Wisconsin Badgers jersey and no helmet
Smith on 1952 Bowman football card
No. 69, 61
Personal information
Born:(1930-09-09)September 9, 1930
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Died:August 6, 2011(2011-08-06) (aged 80)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Dayton (OH) Chaminade
NFL draft:1952 / Round: 8 / Pick: 94
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:2–3 (.400)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Jerome Anthony Smith (September 9, 1930 – August 6, 2011) was an American football player and coach. Jerry was born in Dayton, Ohio and attended Chaminade High School, graduating in 1948. At Chaminade he played tight end and later in 1982 was elected to the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.[1]

After Smith's college football career, which he spent at Wisconsin, the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) selected Smith in the 1952 NFL Draft. He played at left guard for the team in 1952 and 1953. In 1956, he split time between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers. Smith played in 29 games during his NFL career.[2]

Beginning in 1960, he joined the Boston Patriots as a coach of the team's defensive linemen and linebackers. Two years later, he took a similar role with the Buffalo Bills; in his six years as a Bills coach, the team won two American Football League championships.[3] In 1968, the Cleveland Browns hired Smith as an assistant personnel director.[4] From 1969 to 1970, Smith coached in the New Orleans Saints organization. The following year, he became the Denver Broncos' offensive line coach.[3] On November 17, 1971, Broncos head coach Lou Saban, who had also been Smith's boss in Boston and Buffalo, resigned and Smith was named his replacement for the season's last five games.[3][5] The Broncos posted a 2–3 record under Smith.[6] Following the 1971 season, he became the Houston Oilers' defensive line coach for 1972; after one season, he returned to the Browns and served multiple roles.[4] He coached the San Diego Chargers' defensive line from 1977 through 1983. He received credit for developing the front four of Fred Dean, Leroy Jones, Louie Kelcher, and Gary "Big Hands" Johnson. Known as the Bruise Brothers, the group helped the Chargers lead the NFL in 1980 with 60 sacks. Dean, Kelcher, and Johnson all started in the 1981 Pro Bowl.[7][8]

Smith's health declined after suffering a heart attack in 2007. He died at age 80 on August 6, 2011.[9]


  1. ^ "Chaminade Julienne High School Athletic Hall of Fame" (PDF). Chaminade Julienne High School. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Jerry Smith". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  3. ^ a b c Mossman, John (1971-11-18). "Smith Is 'Flabbergasted' In Replacing Saban". The Owosso Argus-Press. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  4. ^ a b "New Job for Jerry Smith". The Milwaukee Journal. 1973-02-16. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  5. ^ "Lou Saban Resigns As Coach At Denver". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. 1971-11-18. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  6. ^ "Jerry Smith". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  7. ^ "Chargers Fire Defensive Line Coach Jerry Smith". Los Angeles Times (San Diego County ed.). February 18, 1984. p. III-4 – via access icon
  8. ^ Magee, Jerry (February 18, 1984). "Chargers fire line coach Smith". The San Diego Union. p. C-3.
  9. ^ Stapleton, Arnie (August 12, 2011). "Jerry Smith, 80, line coach with 10 pro football teams". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved December 20, 2021.