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Former New York Jets college scout Gary Smith dies at 72

4 Nov 1990: General view of a football during a game between the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys. The Jets defeated the Cowboys 24-9.:
Rick Stewart /Allsport

Former New York Jets scout Gary Smith has passed away at the age of 72. He represented the team for the NFS from 1998-2011.

Gary Smith, a longtime New York Jets scout, has died. He was 72.

“Gary was a hard-working scout who loved his job and loved the Jets,” said Terry Bradway, who served as Jets GM from 2001-05, per Eric Allen of the Jets official website. “He had a really good background, a former player and coach who carried his Midwestern values and was very fun to be around.

Like many scouts, Smith was known as a road warrior. According to Allen, Smith once estimated that he spent 300 days a year on the road in the 20 years he spent scouting in the NFL.

“On a typical day, you’re up at 6 and get to bed at midnight or 1 in the morning. You get up, go to the school, meet with the strength coach, the trainer, the position coach and maybe the head coach if you’re lucky,” Smith said in a 2011 article published in The State Journal-Register. “You watch tape for five or six hours. You go and watch practice, go back to the hotel and get room service. You open up your computer and start doing reports on guys. That’s the routine.”

Smith was the Jets representative to the National Football Scouting Service (NFS) from 1998 through 2011.

Prior to joining the Jets, he worked for the Chicago Bears and served as the organization’s BLESTO scout from 1991 to 1997.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Smith earned his Bachelor of Science in Technical and Industrial Education/Engineering from Southern Illinois University, his Master’s Degree in Education Administration and Services from Northern Illinois and a certificate of advanced study from Indiana University.

The Springfield, IL native played football at Southern Illinois University in the 1960s.

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