North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith died this weekend. As a coach for the Tar Heels men's basketball team, he won two national championships, his trademark "Four Corners" offense frustrated opponents, and his 879 wins were the most in Division I basketball history when he retired.
But his friends, his family and his players often point to what he did off the court as a sign of who Dean Smith was.
College basketball fans, alumni and students are remembering the iconic Dean Smith as an innovative coach and a man of integrity. People brought flowers, balloons and wrote messages in chalk outside the building that bares his name in Chapel Hill. Jeff Tiberii spoke with a few of those Carolina followers who paid tribute on Sunday.
Leon Keys, Ginny Moses and Tom Gahagan were among the dozens of people paid tribute to Dean Smith on campus yesterday. Smith died Saturday night. He was 83.
Induction into a sports Hall of Fame is a reflective moment for any athlete or coach. Nine Tar Heel players or coaches are in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and eight of them either had some connection to Dean Smith or were Dean Smith. And none missed the opportunity to thank him during their acceptance speeches:
Michael Jordan: “Coach Smith… what else can I say about him? He’s legendary in the game of coaching.”
Dean Smith, the legendary men's college basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has passed away. He was 83 years old.
"Coach Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children," his family said in a statement. "We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public."