Larry Smith Back for UA Football
Aug. 19, 2003
Larry Smith, head coach of the University ofArizona football team from 1980-86, has been hired as the new analyst for UAfootball game telecasts on Fox Sports Net Arizona, the network said today.
The 24-year veteran of the college football coaching ranks is set to team with long-time UAplay-by-play voice Dave Sitton for Wildcat games on the network in 2003.
'We are thrilled to have someone with Larry's background associatedwith our Arizona football telecasts,' said FSN Arizona Executive ProducerTom Pahnke. 'Not only does he know the Wildcat football program and the Pac-10Conference extremely well, but he is a familiar face to Arizona fans whohelped bring the program a lot of success during his time as head coach.Larry will bring tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm to our broadcasts and Iknow UA fans will enjoy hearing his insight.'
Smith was the head coach at Arizona from 1980-86, leading the Wildcats to a 48-28-3 record and guiding the club to six consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1923. He also began an unbeaten streak against intrastate rival Arizona State, leading the Cats to fivestraight wins over ASU from from 1982 to 1986 -- a string later extended by Dick Tomey to nine games, including a 1987 tie.
His final two seasons in Tucson saw him coach the program to a pair of bowlappearances, including the 1985 Sun Bowl and the 1986 Aloha Bowl. Smith wasalso an assistant coach under Jim Young at Arizona from 1973-75, serving aslinebacker coach, defensive coordinator and assistant head coach on Young teams that also featured John Mackovic as the offensive stategist. Thosethree teams went 26-7, tying for the 1973 Western Athletic Conference titleand finishing second in the WAC the other two seasons.
After leaving the UA after the 1986 campaign, he became the head coach atUSC from 1987-1992, where he won three Pac-10 Championships and compiled a44-25-3 slate. He also was a two-time Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Yearand led the Trojans to five bowl appearances in his six years at the helm.Included in that span of bowl appearances were three trips to the Rose Bowl.
Smith started his college head coaching career at Tulane from 1976-79,culminating that tenure with a 9-3 Liberty Bowl season in 1979. His finalstop in the college ranks came at Missouri, where he led the Tigers to a33-46-1 mark from 1994-2000. He was the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1997after coaching Mizzou to a 7-5 mark and a Holiday Bowl appearance. Thefollowing season, the Tigers went 8-4 and beat West Virginia in theInsight.com Bowl in Tucson. Smith finished is 24-year collegiate headcoaching career with a record of 143-126-7.
Smith collaborated with a local radio station in Tucson as a college football analyst last year and has been familiar with the UA program since he left the Missouri coaching job and moved to Tucson.
Smith takes over for former Wildcat and NFL Super Bowl veteran Glenn Parker, who earlier this month took a job with College Sports Television as a key game analyst for its coverage this year.
'We're really happy to have a man of Larry's stature join the Fox Sports Net team,' UA athletics director Jim Livengood said. 'Not only is he extremely knowledegable about the game, he brings some Wildcat flavor to the mix,' he said.
Smith could get his debut in Arizona's contest Sept. 27 against Texas Christian in Tucson. Pac-10 schools work under agreements with ABC Sports, Fox Sports Net and TBS Sports, and television choices normally are set 12 days in advance of games.