Sad news comes today to the North Carolina and entire ACC families, as UNC released that the legendary Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith has passed away at 83.
CHAPEL HILL - Former University of North Carolina head men's basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday evening in Chapel Hill. He was 83 years old.
"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," the Smith family said 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 was the head coach of the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, retiring as the winningest coach in college basketball. He led the Tar Heels to national championships in 1982 and 1993, to 13 ACC Tournament titles, 11 Final Fours, and an NIT championship, and directed the United States Olympic Team to a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Games.
The man who's solely responsible for the modern day shot clock era of college basketball following his "four corners" offense, will be missed by the entire college basketball community.
"I'm 64 years old and everything I do with our basketball program and the way I deal with the University is driven by my desire to make Coach Smith proud," current North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams said. "When I came back to Carolina, the driving force was to make him proud and I still think that today.
"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. We love him and we will miss him."
Our thoughts are with the Smith family.