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Posts Tagged ‘Dean Smith.’

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)

 

Coach “K” alone in second place on all-time wins list with 880

Mike Krzyzewski (file photo)

Number 1 Duke routed North Carolina-Greensboro 108-62 to give head coach Mike Krzyzewski sole possession of second place on the men’s basketball all-time wins list.

The Blue Devils were led by Kyle Singler with 27 points and Nolan Smith with 26 in giving the Hall of Fame coach his 880th career victory, before a crowd of 23,000 at Greensboro Coliseum.

Coach “K” moved past longtime North Carolina coach Dean Smith. That leaves Bobby Knight next on the list. Knight was his mentor and coached him at Army.

Coach “K” is in his 36th year as a head coach and has an overall record of 880-279. He could catch Knight by the end of the season.

compiled from Duke athletics news

Duke coach Krzyzewski conquers another milestone

Mike Krzyzewski (file photo)

The Duke University Blue Devils are having the usual solid season while their famous head coach is achieving milestones along the way.

With Duke’s blowout win over Bradley University recently 83-48, head coach Mike Krzyzewski moved into sole possession of third place on the all-time wins list.

With 877 victories, Coach K passes Adolph Rupp  on the list.

Ahead of him are Bobby Knight at 902 and Dean Smith at 879.

compiled from staff & Duke University athletics

Jeff Lebo hired to rebuild East Carolina University basketball program

compiled from staff and wire reports

Jeff Lebo introduced at East Carolina (ECU)

Recently fired Auburn head basketball coach Jeff Lebo didn’t waste any time getting another head job. He was introduced Tuesday as the new head men’s basketball coach at East Carolina University. Located in Greenville, the Pirates have had a struggling program for years.

The school decided on Lebo to replace Mack McCarthy, who spent three seasons on the sideline for the Pirates before resigning to take a fundraising job in the school’s athletics department. Lebo spent the last six seasons at Auburn, going 96-93 overall before he was fired earlier in March.

The 43-year-old Lebo played at North Carolina under the legendary Dean Smith in the late 80′s and had coached at Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga before Auburn.  He is a very popular figure in the state of North Carolina.

Lebo inherits a difficult job at East Carolina, a Conference USA school located in the shadows of instate Atlantic Coast Conference programs Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State. The program hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since making a surprise run to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in 1993 and hasn’t had a winning record since 1996-97. In the years since, East Carolina has reached .500 once and compiled a 141-230 record.

Lebo had a strong start to his head coaching career, taking over Tennessee Tech program in 1998 that was coming off four straight losing seasons. Two years later, Tennessee Tech had its first 20-win season in a half-century, then won 27 games and reached the NIT in 2002.

Lebo then was hired at Chattanooga and won 40 games in two seasons before taking over at Auburn for the 2004-05 season. However, Lebo discovered that the Southeastern Conference was tougher to coach and recruit in than any league he’d been associated with. He went 35-61 at Auburn in SEC play while the team’s 2009 NIT appearance was his only postseason trip there.