Perhaps you don't know, or maybe you knew and have forgotten, but today it's worth noting that new Weber State football coach John L. Smith is the uncle of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.
John L. was officially named the Wildcats' new head man Tuesday morning in a press conference at Stewart Stadium, a place where he used to play from 1968-71.
The Idaho native played here with his younger brother, Doug, Alex's father.
Why is this important to Weber State fans? Well, gosh, it should be obvious. With Uncle John running WSU's football program now, surely he'll lean on Alex for a sizable donation or two to help the Wildcats ramp up their prospects for next season and beyond.
OK, that was supposed to be funny. Don't read anything else into it.
"Oh he's gonna have to donate here," said John L., playing along with the joke. "His dad has a degree from here. He has to."
All cracks about big-money donations aside, there are a couple of nice stories here. First, there's the story of John L. Smith coming back to Weber State more than 40 years after he played here.
While bouncing around the coaching ranks he's had a great deal of success, including a nice run at Utah State, another one at Louisville and a 2003 Big Ten Coach of the Year award at Michigan State.
As passionate as a preacher and as energetic as a playground full of second-graders, Smith, 63, is a great hire for the Wildcats. Getting an alum with his resume certainly was a coup for the decision makers at Weber State.
When he first heard the Wildcats were looking for a coach after Ron McBride retired, Smith called WSU athletic director Jerry Bovee and said, "I know of a good coach."
Indeed, he did.
And the idea of returning to Ogden to be a head coach again, well, that was just too appealing for both the school and the man himself.
Bovee and Smith each described the decision as a "No-brainer."
That was just one of the nice storylines coming out of Tuesday's press conference. Another was John L. talking about his nephew, Alex, currently in his seventh NFL season.
Alex, of course, played ball at Utah and was critical in helping the Utes go undefeated in 2004 and earning a BCS-busting bid to the '05 Fiesta Bowl.
Once one of the NFL's elite organizations, the 49ers were a mess when they drafted Alex with the No. 1 overall pick later that spring. Although expectations were understandably high, the team was surprisingly bad and its roster incredibly inept. Consequently, rather than sitting on the bench and learning the system from a future Hall of Famer -- as Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers did from Brett Favre -- Alex was essentially thrown to the wolves.
And he came away with the teeth marks to prove it.
Through each of his first six seasons, he had six different offensive coordinators. That meant each team out he had to learn a new system, often while running for his life behind a shaky offensive line.
Still, because he carried with him the expectations of a No. 1 overall draft pick, Alex was often blamed for Niners' troubles.
This season, however, he got a new head coach and true quarterbacking mentor in Jim Harbaugh, himself a former NFL QB.
With last Sunday's victory over St. Louis, the Niners moved to 10-2 on the season and clinched an NFC West title, all to the delight of Alex's Uncle John.
"A different head coach, a different coordinator, a different head coach, a different coordinator -- it's hard to get (any continuity)," John L. said. "The guy that's there now and what they're doing there now, I think -- well, I know -- he's excited about it and all that's happening."
With Alex finally getting comfortable in San Francisco and John L. now returning to his roots here in Ogden, it sure sounds like it's a pretty good year to be a member of the Smith family, doesn't it?
Now, about that donation.
Jim Burton is the Standard-Examiner's sports columnist. He also covers the Utah Jazz and the NBA. He can be reached at 801-625-4265 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at http://twitter.com/jmb247