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Jim Smith

1936 - 1994

Coach Jim

November 28, 1994, Tulsa Oklahoma

James L. 'Jim' Smith, 58, former Hale and Catoosa football coach and McDonnell Douglas worker, died Nov. 24 at St. Francis Hospital. Services were held Nov. 28 at the Yale Avenue Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Lynn Simpson officiating. Burial was in Bixby Cemetery under the direction of Jack Selby, Bixby Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were John Bensinger, Emmett Hahn, Merrick Harmon, Floyd Harrawood, Rodney Replogle and Marion Watkins. Honorary pallbearers were Mo Hogan, Bob Brumble, Mitch Gardner, Marc Brumble and Jackie Robertson.

Smith was born Sept. 29, 1936, at Tulsa. A native Tulsan, Jim graduated from Tulsa Central High School and attended Oklahoma State University and Northeastern State University where he was a member of the N Club and President's Honor Roll. He was a member of the NSU National Championship football team in 1958. He received his BS degree in 1959 and a Masters of Education degree in 1961. He was a member of the Yale Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brookside Masonic Lodge, Tulsa Scottish Rite and U.A.W.

Jim started his football coaching career at Ysleta High School in El Paso, Texas in 1959. In 1963 he coached the Manzanola, Colorado football team to a state playoff during his first year as the head coach.

In 1972 he became head football coach at Hale High School in Tulsa. During that first season he coached his team to win the Oklahoma State Football Championship. In 1973 he was chosen by the Tulsa World as District and State Football Coach of the Year. That same year he received the Oklahoma Athletic Association Coach of the Year award. He went on to lead his team to championship games for eight more years. In 1980 he left coaching and joined McDonnell Douglas.

In 1982 he returned to coaching to coach the Oklahoma Thunder semi-professional football team. In 1984 he became head football coach at Catoosa High School where he coached for two year before retiring. After retiring he returned to McDonnell Douglas. He retired from McDonnell Douglas in 1993 and began working as a volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation and the Tulsa Heart Transplant Center.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, Woodrow W. Smith. Surviving are his wife, Shari, of the home; a son and daughter-in-law, his mother, Wanda Smith of Tulsa, and two grandchildren.

Tulsa World, November 28, 1994

About Jim . . .

Favorite Song - Yesterday, by the Beatles
Favorite Color - Blue
Favorite Sports - Football & golf
Favorite Food - BBQ ribs
Favorite Singer - Willie Nelson
Favorite Book - Anything by Gene Hill
Favorite Actors - Steve McQueen, Randolph Scott & Michele Pfiffer
Favorite Pastime - Golf, Bass fishing, quail hunting & watching football games on TV
Favorite Time of the Year - Fall
Person He Most Admired - His son
Best Friend - His wife
Greatest Pride - His son, daughter-in-law & grandchildren
Most Memorable Job - Coach of the Nathan Hale Rangers
The Biggest Surprise about Jim - He wrote poetry

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