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Florida High football team remembers fallen coach with special tribute

Posted at 11:34 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 23:34:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida High offensive line coach Ryan Smith died in June leaving behind a wife, a young son, and dozens of young men he impacted on the football field every day. But as they've all learned, family is forever and they'll always stand by each other.

"We just really enjoyed him being a part of our family, and he'll always be a part of our family," said Tyron McGriff, the Florida High Director of Programming and Community Development

Ryan Smith was new to the Florida High family, but his impact was undeniable.

"For him to have known so many people and to be a part of this program was such a blessing for him, for our family," said Darlysa Smith, Ryan Smith's wife.

That's why after every first touchdown this season Florida High has taken a delay of game penalty to honor Coach Smith. Last Friday night it was a little more special.

"She contacted us," McGriff said, "and me and Coach Hickman got together, thought about some things, and it popped in my head to have him score the first touchdown."

Taylor, Coach Smith's 19-month-old son, ran the ball into the end zone Friday night, a moment no one will forget anytime soon.

"Everyone that's reached out or shown any sort of love and support to us, I can't put it into words," said Darlysa Smith.

Tyrone: "Anytime we can help someone understand the value that their son, their daughter, their dad, their mom brought to Florida High, we're going to take that and use it in a positive way."

Darlysa Smith said one day she'll tell their son that "he got to make his first sports play and that his daddy would be proud."

Proud, and part of a memory, that'll last forever.

Taylor Smith also received a letter from Florida State president John Thrasher promising President's Seat admission to Florida State.