Riley Smith (American football)
Riley Henry Smith (July 14, 1911 – August 9, 1999) was an American football player, a quarterback for the Boston Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) during the mid-1930s. He played college football for the University of Alabama, where he was recognized as a consensus All-American. Drafted in the 1936 NFL Draft, he is known for being the first drafted player to play football in the NFL; Jay Berwanger, the only player drafted before him, never played due to salary disagreements. After his NFL career ended, he became a coach.
|Born:||July 14, 1911|
|Died:||August 9, 1999 (aged 88)|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||200 lb (91 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1936 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|As a player:|
|As a coach:|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1942–1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Smith attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he played quarterback for the Crimson Tide. He was a passer and runner, but could also block, punt, kick extra points, and boot field goals. He was part of the 1934 team that won the Rose Bowl, was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 1935, and also won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the Southeastern Conference.
Professional playing careerEdit
Smith was the second player chosen (behind Jay Berwanger) in the first-ever 1936 NFL Draft. In 1936 and 1937 he missed only three minutes in 26 Redskins games, but an injury ended his playing career early.
Coaching career and later lifeEdit
After retirement as a player, Smith became an assistant coach at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, where he was the backfield coach in 1939 in 1940, then succeeded Warren E. Tilson as head coach in 1941. He served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander from 1942 to 1945 and then became a real estate developer in Mobile, Alabama.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Washington and Lee Generals (Southern Conference) (1941)|
|1941||Washington and Lee||1–6–2||1–2–2||10th|
|Washington and Lee:||1–6–2||1–2–2|
- "Former Tide great Riley Smith, 88, dies". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). Associated Press. August 11, 1999. p. 1C.
- "Riley Smith's College Football HOF profile". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "Washington And Lee Puts Smith Into Tilson's Place". Rocky Mount Telegram. Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Associated Press. April 21, 1941. p. 6. Retrieved August 20, 2019 – via Newspapers.com .