Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Illness Is Not Keeping Smith Down

Former Missouri, USC, Arizona and Tulane coach Larry Smith is battling cancer. Smith, retired and living in Tucson, has chronic lymphatic leukemia and melanoma. Early last year, he was hospitalized because of a severe lung infection and dropped 35 pounds. "That was the scariest time," he said. Smith, 66, calls his melanoma "more of an inconvenience than anything" and he maintains an active lifestyle, including working Fox telecasts of several Arizona games each season. Friends see a different Smith. "Nobody, including a grizzled defensive-side football coach, can go through cancer and not be changed by it," said Dave Sitton, Smith's broadcasting partner. "Larry's always been a very decent man, but I think even more so now. He appreciates the little things a lot more."