Bruce Smith Biography
Bruce Smith (Bruce Bernard Smith) is a former American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He was previously a member of the Buffalo Bills teams that played in four consecutive Super Bowls as AFC champions.
The holder of the NFL career record for quarterback sacks with 200, Smith was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Bruce Smith Age
Bruce was born on June 18, 1963, in Norfolk, Virginia United States. He was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. He is 56 years old as of 2019.
Bruce Smith Net worth
Smith is a former American NFL football defensive end who has a net worth of $12 million as of 2019.
Bruce Smith Education
Bruce graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. Following an all-state high school career, Smith accepted an athletic scholarship to Virginia Tech. Known as “The Sack Man” at Virginia Tech, Smith finished his college career in 1984 as the most honored player in Hokie history.
Bruce Smith Wife
Bruce Smith is married to Carmen Smith in 1990. The couples were blessed with a son named Alston. He lives with his family in Virginia Beach, VA.
Bruce Smith High school and college
He accepted an athletic scholarship to Virginia Tech. Known as “The Sack Man” at Virginia Tech, Smith finished his college career in 1984 as the most honored player in Hokie history.
Foreshadowing his future success in pursuing quarterbacks in the NFL, he had a career total of 71 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, for losses totaling 504 yards.
Smith had 46 career sacks, including 22 during a junior season in 1983 that saw him named First-team All-America by the AFCA (Coaches) and Newspaper Enterprise Association.
In 1984, Smith capped off his tenure in Blacksburg with the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top lineman, and a consensus selection to the All-America Team. His accomplishments at Virginia Tech earned him a spot in the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Bruce Smith Professional footballer
He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the first pick of the 1985 NFL Draft. (Concurrently he was also selected by the Baltimore Stars in the 1985 USFL Territorial Draft but spurned the United States Football League advances and decided to play in the NFL instead, even as the Stars were a championship-caliber team and the Bills were on the brink of collapse.)
After a rookie season in which his poor training habits limited his effectiveness, inspiration from teammate Darryl Talley and finding love with a college counselor whom he eventually married inspired him to improve his game.
He quickly became known as a sack specialist, with 15 in 1986 and a personal season-best 19, just three short of the then-NFL record of 22, in 1990. By 1989, Smith, in notching his 52nd sack, had already become the Bills’ all-time sack leader, claiming a team record that he was to raise 119 times over the years.
Some conjecture that his 171 sacks in Buffalo set a standard that “maybe unreachable” for future Bills. In 1989, Smith signed an offer sheet with the Denver Broncos for $7.5 million over five years, but the Bills matched the offer to retain him.
In 1990, his defensive performance helped bring the Bills to Super Bowl XXV, though they eventually lost to the Bill Parcells-led New York Giants. Still, Smith had an impressive performance in the game.
He sacked Jeff Hostetler in the end zone in the second quarter, becoming only the fifth player to record a Super Bowl safety.
Later, Smith forced New York to turn the ball over on downs by tackling running back Ottis Anderson for a two-yard loss on a fourth-down conversion attempt. Only a failed last-second field goal attempt kept the team from its first NFL championship (see Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)).
In 1991, though Smith’s knee problems forced him out for most of the season, the Bills once again reached the Super Bowl.
In 1992, in much better health, he was again a First-team All-Pro and was voted to the Pro Bowl while recording a team-leading 14 sacks.
By 1996, though the Bills’ run of Super Bowl appearances had ended, Smith was still putting up prolific numbers, with 90 tackles and 14 sacks. In 1997, Smith had 65 tackles and 14 sacks and by 1998, although he was getting older he still had a respectable 50 tackles and ten sacks.
Smith, along with Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas, was dumped from the Bills roster in an emergency salary cap measure after the 1999 season.
Smith signed with the Washington Redskins as a free agent. In his first season, he posted 58 tackles and ten sacks, although he was now playing in most passing situations.
He pressed onward in pursuit of Reggie White’s all-time sacks record (198, achieved in 15 seasons), which he passed in Week 14 of the 2003 NFL season by sacking New York Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer in a 20–7 win at Giants Stadium.
He finished his career with 200 career sacks, the only person ever to reach the 200 sack mark. Smith had hinted in interviews that 2003 would be his final season, but never completely ruled out continuing to play. However, on February 24, 2004, the Redskins released Smith, saving $6.5 million in salary-cap space.
Bruce Smith NFL accomplishments
In his 19 NFL seasons, Smith played in 279 games, amassing 200 sacks, two interceptions, 46 forced fumbles, and 15 fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a 33-yard touchdown.
Of his 19 seasons in the NFL, 13 of them were seasons where he had at least ten sacks, a testament to his consistency year in and year out. He was also named All-Pro nine times.
His 200 sacks give him the record for most career quarterback takedowns. As Smith spent most of his career in a 3–4 defensive scheme, a defensive scheme not geared toward creating sack opportunities for defensive ends, many consider the record particularly impressive.
Indeed, Smith’s peers elected him to the Pro Bowl every season from 1987 to 1998 (with the exception of his injury-laden 1991 season). In 1987, he was named the Pro Bowl MVP.
He was named twice in the AP’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1996), twice named the NEA Defensive Player of the Year (1990, 1993) and four times named UPI’s AFC Defensive Player of the Year (1987, 1988, 1990, 1996).
Bruce Smith Post-football life
Bruce lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Having returned to his home state, Smith works as a large-scale hotel designer, undertaking many projects with Armada Hoffler.
Most recently, he returned to Blacksburg, the site of his collegiate successes, where he purchased the Red Lion Inn. He built a Hilton Garden Inn Hotel with 137 sleeping rooms and is working on redeveloping the site (Smith’s Landing, hotel and restaurant complex).
A Baptist, he is a member of Queen Street Baptist Church in Norfolk. Smith and his wife Carmen have a son, Alston. Smith also works with Thurman Thomas in their new business venture, Legends Energy Group.
They promote energy programs across North America. Smith, with Andre Reed, Thurman Thomas, and Jim Kelly would be the subject of the 30 for 30 films Four Falls of Buffalo. He was arrested on May 15, 2009, and convicted on July 9, 2009, with driving under the influence, speeding, and refusing to take an alcohol breath test. Smith has two previous DUI arrests.