Former Army football head coach Homer Smith (1974-78) passed away Sunday at the age of 79.
Smith’s first season at West Point was also the first year of play-by-play for Bob Outer.
“It was a new experience for him and a brand-new experience for me,’’ Outer said Tuesday. “He helped me out by giving me some plays ahead of time.’’
That kind of working relationship between head coach and announcers has not always been the case over the years, Outer said.
“I remember him as a leader,’’ Outer said, “as somebody who was very honest, very creative and, at the same time, willing to help other people.’’
Smith took over for Tom Cahill, who was let go following a winless 1973 season. Outer said the two coaches had a respect for one another.
Cahill joined Outer in the radio booth in 1984 and broadcast Army games until his passing, at age 73, in Oct. 1992.
Smith moved on to some prominent assistant coaching stints with Alabama, UCLA and Arizona, and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.
“He was well-respected, obviously, because he moved around,’’ Outer said. “He didn’t go to the bottom places … he went to the top places.’’
Smith visited West Point for a game with his son-in-law, famed Army quarterback Leamon Hall, who guided the Cadets to their only winning season (7-4 in 1977) during Smith’s tenure.
“He looked pretty worn,’’ Outer said of Smith. “He gave me a big hug. He would send us emails every once in a while and say he listened to the game.’’
“Homer was a very good guy,’’ Outer added. “He is somebody I cherished knowing and having known.’’
Outer served as play-by-play man for Army for nearly 26 years, and has remained on the radio crew as host of the pre-game, halftime and post-game portions.