East Texan Lovie Smith inducted into Texas Sports Hall of Fame - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texan Lovie Smith inducted into Texas Sports Hall of Fame

WACO, TEXAS (KLTV) - Each year, the very best in athletic performance, both on the field, off the field and those who are influential in sports in the Lone Star state are honored at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.

This year, the induction class is about as big as it gets.

Gary Blair, Mack Brown and East Texas' own Lovie Smith were among 10 inductees.

The Chicago Bears head coach isone of the newest members of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

"It is special to be recognize along with all of them and you just look down the halls and you realize that you are just blessed to be here," said Smith, "I can't completely understand why, but you are just excited to be included in that group."

While Lovie remains humbled, his resume says he belongs.

Three state championship in high school at Big Sandy.

An All-American career in college.

And a Super Bowl coach in the NFL.

"The night ath I saw he and Tony Dungy playing in the Super Bowl," said Texas head coach Mack Brown, "It got no better than that as far as young role models for what coaches should be like."

His career has taken him away from East Texas, but it was in East Texas that his career began.

"I got such an education there [Big Sandy] on life and what hard work can do for you and treating people the right way," said Smith, "I am here tonight because of a lot of people in Big Sandy."

"I think every inductee should be here," said Brown, "But Lovie is at the front of the class."

At the front of the class of the best in Texas.

And while it is his name that will go in the Hall of Fame, Lovie Smith says, he's not going there alone.

"I talk about my time in Big Sandy all the time, it means so much to me, I am one of them, and hopefully tonight they will feel that I am going in there but I am bringing a lot of people with me."

*Copyright, KLTV 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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