DENTON - (8/7/04) University of North Texas football player Andrew Smith was killed in an automobile accident while traveling from his home in Bay City, Texas to Denton early Saturday morning. The 21-year old Smith was pronounced dead at the scene after colliding with another vehicle on highway 6 near Calvert, Texas at 4:40 a.m. Saturday.
“This is a very sad day for the University of North Texas,” Head Coach Darrell Dickey said. “We have lost an outstanding football player and an outstanding student, but more importantly an outstanding person. This is the reason that I got into the coaching profession, to be able to coach people like Andrew Smith.”
Smith was beginning his fourth year with the North Texas football team, with two seasons of eligibility remaining. In his first two years, Smith played in 20 games, 16 as the team’s starting quarterback. As a redshirt freshman in 2002, Smith was forced into the starting role for the final 12 games of the season when starter Scott Hall was injured in the season-opener. Smith proceeded to lead the team to an 8-4 record as a starter and a victory over Cincinnati in the New Orleans Bowl that year.
He began the 2003 season as the starting quarterback before Hall regained the spot in the fifth game of the season. He was listed behind Hall at quarterback as the team prepared to begin fall practice for the 2004 season on Wednesday. Smith came to North Texas after a standout prep career at Bay City High School, where he led his team to the Class 4A Division I state championship in 2000.
“The way he handled challenges and adversity was unlike anything I have ever seen in this business,” Dickey added. “His poise and his character stood far above his athletic ability and his athletic ability was outstanding.”
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Andrew Smith,” North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal said. “He was a young man who stepped up and put this team on his shoulders when needed and he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the entire University of North Texas community.”
Arrangements regarding a memorial service have not yet been announced.