[One of the greatest basketball coaches the world will ever know has passed away.
Dean Smith, the North Carolina basketball coaching great who won two national championships, has died. He was 83.
The retired Hall of Fame coach died “peacefully” at his home Saturday night, the school said in a statement Sunday from Smith’s family. He was with his wife and five children.
Roy Williams, the current North Carolina coach who spent 10 years as Smith’s assistant, said Smith “was the greatest there ever was on the court but far, far better off the court with people.”
“I’d like to say on behalf of all our players and coaches, past and present, that Dean Smith was the perfect picture of what a college basketball coach should have been,” Williams said in a statement. “We love him and we will miss him.”
Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961-97. He retired as the winningest coach in the sport with 879 victories. He won NCAA titles in 1982 and 1993, and coached such players as Michael Jordan and James Worthy.
He reached 11 Final Fours, won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and coached the U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal in 1976.
This man was truly, as Mr. Williams said, a class act and the real deal. An outstanding coach and by all accounts a truly decent human being, I have spent many hours entertained and fascinated by the talents he nurtured, instructed and sent out into the world at large.
RIP Coach Smith; you done good.
Great coach and even better Human Being. But as Ga Tech alumnus from the mid 80’s, I hated him on the other bench.
RIP Coach Smith.
As I mentioned in the Death Pool thread, he also played on the 1952 Kansas Jayhawk team that won the national championship, and was later an assistant under KU coaching legend Phog Allen.
Dean played a big part in getting some unknown assistant coach named Roy Williams the head coaching job at Kansas after Larry Brown high-tailed it out of town after the 1988 national championship. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In addition to his greatness on the court…
If there’s a “New South” in which racism is increasingly a thing of the past, Dean Smith gets some small credit for making that happen.
And in honor of the “master of the four corner offense,” shot clocks will be turned off for one minute. At least, they should be…
Only 2 National Championships. That surprises me. 11 Final Four appearances is amazing. He truly was one of the all time great coaches, in any sport.