Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
Time Stands Still
Once again, time stands still. Back in October of 1997 we wrestled with the reality that a coaching career had ended. Today, we struggle with the news that a life is over. On a day with skies the color of argyle uniforms, Carolina blue is just a little bluer. Indeed, there’s new meaning to Blue Heaven. For all the tributes and memorializing that will come, I’m not sure Coach Smith would be comfortable.
Dean Smith: 1931-2015
Before discussing his career as one of the three greatest coaches in the history of college basketball, we must deal with one aspect of Dean Smith’s life that trumps all the championships, all the wins, and all the great players who came his way. The fact is that, when this country was finally forced through blood and witness to confront the great moral crisis that grew out of its original sin, Smith was a winter soldier of the first rank.
Learning from Coach Smith
It’s Dean Smith's successful, consistent attention to the “little things” I find astonishing. To treat every single person with respect and dignity and as if they were really important, and to do so not out of a desire to look good, but out of a sincere conviction that everyone really is important—that is an accomplishment of far greater significance than any of the records that will be printed in Smith’s obituaries.
Dean Smith’s caring touch, penchant for relationships shines through in death
As Michael Jordan often has done, Phil Ford, the college star in the 1970s who conducted UNC’s famed Four Corners offense and became the No. 2 all-time scorer in Tar Heels history, likened Dean Smith to his second father Sunday. “Not many people are willing to share everything about themselves with another person that’ll make the other person better, and he was willing to do that,” Ford said.
Whenever somebody famous dies, writers wax poetic in obituaries about how great a person he or she was. Even in cases when the deceased wasn't actually that nice of a person. No embellishment is needed in this case, though. Dean Smith really was a great man.
Chapel Hill mourns Dean Smith
The corned beef sandwich was his favorite. He almost always ordered it to go. Dean Smith didn’t want anyone to treat him differently or let him order first. So he often called his order in to Four Corners Grille and picked it up through the back door in the kitchen. This was Smith — the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach — off the court. The Chapel Hill resident. The food connoisseur.
Dean Smith touched the lives of 12-year-olds and basketball icons alike
He wasn’t ready. So he called the one man who always was. “I called him the night before I went to Kansas for the interview,” a teary-eyed Roy Williams said Sunday. “I said, ‘Coach, are you sure you want to do this? This is your school. You’re screwing them up here, telling them I can do the job. Are you sure you want to do this to your school?’” Of course he did. And on the other end of the phone, Dean Smith made that clear to his protege.
Brad Daugherty on Dean Smith: ‘I learned more about life...from him than about basketball’
Brad Daugherty, former UNC player, former NBA star, and now ESPN college basketball analyst and part-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing: “When I got to the NBA, coach Smith would always look at what kind of watch I was wearing – he wanted to make sure I wore a Timex instead of a Rolex. He preached humility. I tried to emulate Coach in my everyday life. I learned more about life and being compassionate from him than about basketball.”
Charlie Scott: ‘It’s A Sad Day For Society’ (audio)
On Sunday, Feb. 8 former University of North Carolina basketball player Charlie Scott stopped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss his memories of his former coach Dean Smith with Marc Malusis. Smith passed away at the age of 83 on Saturday night. Smith was one of the most iconic coaches in the history of men’s basketball and served as the head coach of the Tar Heels for 36 years from 1961-97.
Remembering Dean Smith
The Carolina community was shocked on Sunday to hear of the passing of Dean Smith, the legendary UNC basketball coach whose legacy extended far beyond the court.
Dean Smith's influence impossible to define
It wasn't necessary to grow up in North Carolina or diligently follow college basketball to recognize Dean Smith. For so many, he was synonymous with the sport throughout his 36 years coaching the Tar Heels. Two NCAA Championships, 11 Final Fours and 13 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles -- the consistency of success not only elevated the program to elite status, but it also helped define the ACC.
Powell Latimer: A call from Dean Smith for 'Mr. Latimer'
Dean Smith once called my cell phone to talk, 44 years later, about one of the worst nights of his coaching career. I was only 9 when Smith retired from coaching, but I grew up well-versed in his legend, as anyone born and raised in North Carolina would. I saw him only a handful of times while in college, usually as he was shuffling around the Smith Center.
Carolina Family mourns Dean Smith
They gathered at the building that bears his name and shared memories about him, told stories about him, shed tears over him. Dean Smith was gone, the day people long dreaded was here, and members of his Carolina family mourned together at the Smith Center.
"I Do Believe in Praising That Which Deserves to be Praised..."
Dean Smith was an educator, and I feel like his job was to educate everyone, not just his team. He would teach fans sportsmanship, preach about doing the right thing because it's the right thing, trying to impart humility in a world that was increasingly becoming "me first." He taught everyone that Family is Family, not just when they are good to you, but that everyone is important and brings a contribution.
Dean Smith's NBA dominance
Dean Smith’s death was the top story on NBA.com Sunday morning even though Smith never coached a single game in the league. That editorial decision is a reflection of Smith’s pervasive influence on the NBA, a greater impact than any other college coach. At North Carolina, Smith coached five of the top 55 scorers in NBA history, and three of the NBA's top 25 in coaching victories.