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June 27, 2011

Hall of Famer Lowell Smith passes away; Services Monday

View Lowell Smith obituary

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Lowell Smith, a member of the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame, passed away Saturday. He was 71.

A member of the Tech football team as a center and a linebacker, Smith was a big part of a successful run of Golden Eagle football teams that won four straight Ohio Valley Conference championships from 1958 through 1961.

Smith played football at Cookeville Central High School, and, after graduating, spent a year at Castle Heights Military Academy before enrolling at Tech in the fall of 1958.

As a four-year letterwinner for the Golden Eagles, Smith was a winner of the team's prestigious Robert Hill Johnson Award. In 1981, Smith was inducted into the seventh class of the Tech Sports Hall of Fame, and when the OVC selected its all-decade teams when the conference celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998, Smith was a member of the 1960's All-Decade team.

Even in recent years, Smith had been a major supporter for the Golden Eagle program.

"He was just a good friend of mine," said Tech coach Watson Brown. "It's just sad for the family and I hope everybody's OK. But he's been a really good friend of mine for a long time because of his relationship with my granddad (Eddie "Jelly" Watson, for whom Smith played for at Cookeville Central). Of course, Kevin Tucker and I, when Lowell played for Coach (Wilburn) Tucker at Tech, we used to be on the sidelines watching him play. I was 6, or 7, I guess, maybe a little older. So I go back with the Smith family a long, long time. He was a great player at Tech."

This story was provided by Thomas Corhern, Cookeville Herald-Citizen