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Posts Tagged ‘Air Force Academy.’

Legendary North Carolina Tar Heels coach Dean Smith dies at 83

Dean Smith (2009 photo by Zeke Smith via wikipedia commons)

Dean Smith, the Hall of Fame legend who won two national championships at North Carolina along with an Olympic gold medal while coaching, has died. He was 83.

In a statement released by the university from the Smith family,  the coach died “peacefully” at his Chapel Hill home Saturday evening. He was with his wife and five children.

Smith coached some of the biggest names ever in college basketball. The list is long Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, Billy Cunningham, Hubert Davis, Matt Doherty, Phil Ford, George Karl, Charlie Scott, James Worthy, John Kuester, Jeff Lebo, Mitch Kupchak, Sam Perkins, Bob McAdoo, Kenny Smith, Rick Fox, Jerry Stackhouse, Walter Davis, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter and Rasheed Wallace to name a few.

He sent more than 50 players to the NBA and ABA.

Smith had health issues in recent years, where he had a condition that was causing him to lose memory. He stayed out of the public’s eye since 2010. His wife, Linnea, accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on his behalf from President Barack Obama in November 2013.

Born Feb. 28, 1931, in Emporia, Kan., the son of public school teachers, Dean Edwards Smith graduated from the University of Kansas with a communications degree in 1953. He played for the Jayhawks teams that won the NCAA title in 1952 and finished second the next year. While at Kansas, Smith played for another legendary basketball coach in Phog Allen which the Jayhawks home arena is named after, Allen Fieldhouse.

He served as an assistant coach at Kansas to Allen and Dick Harp before joining the Air Force. He was an assistant basketball coach at the Air Force Academy, and also the baseball and golf coach for a year, before leaving in 1958 to join Frank McGuire’s staff at North Carolina. When McGuire left to coach in the NBA in the summer of 1961, the university selected Smith, 30 years old at the time, to take over the program.

Smith had an 8-9 record his first season and never had one again.

He won two championships in his career, 1982 and 1993. Other career accomplishments included: 11 regional titles which led to the Final Four; 13 ACC Tournament titles; 18 ACC regular season titles; NIT title in 1971; National Coach of the Year 4 times and ACC coach of the Year 9 times.

He is the member of several Hall of Fames: North Carolina 1981; Basketball 1983; Kansas 1996; College Basketball 2006 and the ingaural class of FIBA in 2007

Smith retired in October 1997 with a career record of 879-254, having eclipsed ‘The Baron” Adolph Rupp’s record of 876 victories during the NCAA tournament earlier that year in March.

Smith was very active in his church, politics, while speaking out on social issues such as civil rights, the death penalty, affirming gays and lesbians.

During his regime at UNC, Smith, with the insistence of his pastor started to recruit black athletes to his team. In 1967, swingman Charlie Scott became the first black athlete on scholarhip.

In politics, he supported Democrats and Liberals. He donated money to the presidential campaigns of Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, North Carolina alumnus John Edwards and Obama.

With his wife, Linnea,  Smith is also survived by daughters Sandy, Sharon, Kristen and Kelly; son Scott; and several grandchildren.

Dean Smith Center interior (2007 photo by Greenstat via wikipedia commons)

 

MILITARY BOWL preview: Air Force & Toledo hookup in D.C. today at 4:30 pm ET on ESPN

 

(courtesy of bowl via wikipedia commons)

The Air Force Academy was thrilled when it was selected to play in the Military Bowl in our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C.

The Falcons will play the high-scoring Toledo Rockets. It’s an honor for the service academy who will be making its fifth straight bowl appearance.

The Rockets will be a tough opponent to defeat. They’re eighth in college football in scoring at 42.3 ppg, which includes five games in a row where they scored at least 44 points to end the regular season.

Both teams have offenses, but defense has been a weakness for both. Take Toledo for example, they lost to Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois, 63-60. Unbelievable!

Air Force averages 34.3 points per game and averages 320.3 in rushing per game.

Air Force comes into the game at 7-5, Toledo at 8-4.

Toledo has WR/KR Eric Page, who is speedy and elusive. He had a big-time performance in the season finale against Ball State, a 45-28 win, where he caught 16 passes for 145 yards.

 

Info compiled from University of Toledo & Air Force Academy athletics news

 

Boise State leaves WAC for Mountain West Conference

compiled from staff and wire reports

Late last week, Boise State accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference as the two-time Fiesta Bowl winner seeks a chance to play into more lucrative bowl games.

Boise State, currently a member of the Western Athletic Conference, would become the 10th member of the Mountain West Conference. The move will be effective July 1, 2011.

As Boise state aims to secure a clearer path to Bowl Championship Series games worth millions, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said his league was looking to add a football program that could help with national exposure and prime-time television exposure. The league is trying to make a case to become the seventh college football conference awarded an automatic bid to the BCS.

Glen Bleymaier Boise State AD (courtesy of Boise State Athletics)

In its two BCS bowl appearances thus far, Boise State upset Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl in overtime, 43-42 and beat TCU, a Mountain West member, in the January 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

Boise state has simply dominated the WAC, compiling a 49-4 record and winning three Western Athletic Conference titles in four years under Broncos coach Chris Peterson.

Boise State athletic director Glen Bleymaier said as far as travel time, the Mountain West made sense for his school. In the WAC, the Broncos travel to Hawaii and Louisiana.

The Mountain West Conference is more concentrated as Boise State joins the Air Force Academy, Brigham Young, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming.

The Mountain West Conference has a television package with CBS Sports and VERSUS which is 10 years and $120 million.