Dean Smith, the legendary basketball coach who lead the University of North Carolina
to two national titles, finished his career as the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history with 879 victories.
Over 36 years, Smith lead the North Carolina Tar Heels to 11 Final Fours and established their program as one of the dominant college programs in all of college sports.
Those numbers just begin to tell the story of what Dean Smith accomplished in his Carolina
career. He has done more for his sport than perhaps any coach in history. Respected by fellow coaches, admired by his current and former players and acknowledged as one of the greatest minds in the game, Smith has accomplished nearly everything imaginable in his sport.
The awards and accolades continue to be given to Smith, even after he stepped down as Carolina's head coach on October 9, 1997. Smith was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, Honorary Coach of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee, received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the annual ESPY Awards, and was honored with special awards for contributions to basketball by the Atlanta Tipoff Club and New York Athletic Club.
During his career, Smith helped mold the lives and playing styles of many of the NBA’s greatest players: Robert McAdoo, Vince Carter, Sam Perkins, James Worthy, and arguably the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan. Jordan once said, “I gained all that knowledge so that when I got to the pros, it was just a matter of applying the information. Dean Smith gave me the knowledge to score 37 points a game and that's something people don't understand."