Former longtime University of North Carolina head coach Dean Smith has passed away at the age of 83. Many believe his death is related to many health issues he had which included memory loss. Smith helped lead North Carolina to 2 national championships and was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame on November 17th, 2006.
Roy Williams, who is North Carolina’s current head coach served as an assistant under Dean Smith for 10 years shared his thought’s on Smith’s passing.
“[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. “We love him, and we will miss him.
Perhaps the most famous North Carolina Tar Heel Michael Jordan also released a statement on the passing of his lifelong coach at UNC.
“Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach, he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life. My heart goes out to Linnea and their kids. We’ve lost a great man who had an incredible impact on his players, his staff and the entire UNC family.”
Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski had the following to say about Dean Smith.
“We have lost a man who can’t be replaced.”
“However, his greatest gift was his unique ability to teach what it takes to become a good man. That was easy for him to do because he was a great man himself. All of his players benefited greatly from his basketball teachings, but even more from his ability to help mold men of integrity, honor and purpose. Those teachings, specifically, will live forever in those he touched.”
Many different sports figures and celebrities also shared their condolences on Smith.
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