Former North Carolina Tar Heels Coaching Legend Dean Smith Dies At The Age Of 83

February 8, 2015 0

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One of the greatest coaches the game of basketball has passed away. North Carolina Tar Heel coaching legend Dean Smith has passed away at the age of 83. Dean Smith not only brought two college basketball National Championships to the University of North Carolina, Smith was also a mentor to basketball legend Michael Jordan.

According to ESPN,

Smith had health issues in recent years, with the family saying in 2010 he had a condition that was causing him to lose memory. He had kept a lower profile during that time, with his wife, Linnea, accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom on his behalf from President Barack Obama in November 2013.

Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, going 879-254 and retiring as the winningest coach in college basketball history. North Carolina won NCAA championships in 1982 and 1993 and reached the Final Four 11 times under Smith.

“It’s such a great loss for North Carolina — our state, the University, of course the Tar Heel basketball program, but really the entire basketball world,” said current Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who spent 10 years as an assistant under Smith. “We lost one of our greatest ambassadors for college basketball for the way in which a program should be run. We lost a man of the highest integrity who did so many things off the court to help make the world a better place to live in.

“He set the standard for loyalty and concern for every one of his players, not just the games won or lost.”

Smith coached Hall of Fame players Michael JordanJames Worthy, Bob McAdoo and Billy Cunningham, won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and coached the U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal in 1976.

Basketball has lost a coaching great! Stay tuned to HHS1987 for all your sports news.

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