Dean Smith has died at 83, the University of North Carolina has announced. “Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” said his family 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. Thank you.”
Smith’s Tar Heels reached 11 Final Fours and won two national championships, and he coached many players who would wind up as NBA stars, including Michael Jordan, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, and James Worthy.
On this day, it’s advisable to go and read this 2011 Richard Lapchick piece for ESPN about how Smith was a Civil Rights pioneer.