Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
A Basketball Mind in Tune With the Social Fabric
For the longest time, the only thing I knew about Dean Smith was his dreaded four corners offense, the system he popularized as the men’s basketball coach at North Carolina....It turned out, though, that Smith was more than a great coach with an irksome system. People I respected began to tell me about Smith’s civil rights consciousness, and its deep roots.
Every College Coach Should Aspire to Be Like Dean Smith
Winning breeds a fog where all flaws are forgiven. Smart, driven, charismatic coaches deserve our respect, but not outright adulation. We make simply make too much of college coaches. Dean Smith, however, always seemed like the exception.
Dean Smith’s Pardon Letter for Wilmington Ten Revealed
While many know of how Dean Smith recruited Charlie Scott as the first African-American to play ACC basketball in the ‘60’s, it has never been revealed, until now, that Dean Smith also tried to use his considerable influence with Gov. James B. Hunt in 1977 to secure pardons for ten wrongly convicted civil rights activists known as “the Wilmington Ten.”
Dean Smith’s gift: ‘He made you feel special,’ rival coaches say
It was halftime, and Les Robinson’s East Tennessee State team was getting drilled by the North Carolina Tar Heels, slogging its way to a 118-65 loss and a 7-21 season in 1987. A frustrated Robinson exited the locker room to find Dean Smith in the hallway, smoking his usual halftime cigarette. “Les,” the legendary UNC coach said, “I’m sorry about this. Is there anything I can do?”
Coach Smith - Rivalry & Respect
My sports marketing career began in Charlottesville at UVA in the late-70s. That's where I became one of those ABC fans - anybody but Carolina. But today you might say I'm a recovering ABCer, because I was won over by Dean Smith's progressive faith and politics as well as his generosity. It began in 2003 with the ALS Association's "Field of Dreams Gala."
Thank you, Dean Smith
Dean Smith would have disliked this column. He would have politely urged me not to bother. He would have suggested a dozen topics he found more worthwhile. But I should have written this 30 years ago. With Coach Smith’s passing, it can’t be put off any longer.
Strelow: Sharing my favorite Dean Smith memory
Dean Smith always appreciated an assist. Among his many innovations, Smith is credited with inventing the practice of pointing to the passer after an assisted basket. The North Carolina player who scored did it. His teammates on the floor did it. So did the coaches and players at the bench, even fans in the stands.
Remembering Dean Smith and a wonderful night listening to him tell stories
The moment I heard that Dean Smith had died, I felt very empty inside. Not that I knew Smith well, but I did spend some time with him. When I was a rookie reporter for the Greensboro Daily News in 1977-78, I occasionally was assigned to be one of herd covering North Carolina basketball games.
Dean Smith’s influence on Rick Duckett was big
Rick Duckett is still a busy man as a basketball coach, father and a husband. But when he heard about the death of his mentor, Dean Smith, the legendary former coach at North Carolina, it made him pause and reflect. “There’s no question — if not for Coach Smith, I don’t know where I’d be in life,” Duckett said by telephone from Ohio on Sunday afternoon.
Video: Phil Ford running UNC's Four Corners offense
Freshman North Carolina point guard Phil Ford runs Dean Smith's "Four Corners" offense to perfection in a 78-70 win over Duke in Chapel Hill on February 12, 1975.
UNC's bounce-back win a mixed bag worthy of celebration, criticism
UNC honored Dean Smith with a moment of silence on Saturday, and UNC’s 89-60 rout of Georgia Tech included another well-conceived tribute to Smith. Once the game began, there was too much silence. Rather than speaking in glowing terms about the memorable “Four Corners” set that the Tar Heels ran successfully, Roy Williams made sure to voice his displeasure with the crowd’s indifference.
At home, a huge win for UNC
They came to the house Dean Smith built, or perhaps the house built for him. And in their first game back in Chapel Hill since the legendary coach’s passing, the No. 15 Tar Heels (19-8, 9-5 ACC) did as their predecessor had so many times before: they won, drubbing Georgia Tech (12-15, 3-12 ACC) 89-60. “Being home today was great,” said freshman wing Justin Jackson.
Dean Would Be Smiling: UNC runs Four Corners, rips Tech
Roy Williams held up for fingers, just like Dean Smith, his mentor, used to do when he was coaching the Tar Heels. And then Williams’ guys, in throwback uniforms, assumed their positions in the four-corners offense popularized by Smith. UNC point guard Marcus Paige threw a pass to Brice Johnson for a layup and 2-0 lead the Tar Heels never relinquished.
Video: Marcus Paige, Kennedy Meeks Post-Georgia Tech Interviews
Marcus Paige and Kennedy Meeks talk to Jones Angell following the Tar Heels' 89-60 win over Georgia Tech on February 21st, 2015.
A Special Connection: Dean Smith and Hugh Morton
On Sunday, February 22nd, there will be a very special gathering in the Smith Center on the UNC campus to celebrate the life of Dean E. Smith. There will be players and former players...coaches and former coaches...students and former students. And I choose to believe there will be a very special section that will not be visible to those of us in the arena—and Smith, Bill Friday, and Hugh Morton will be seated there.