Legendary North Carolina men's basketball coach Dean Smith passed away Saturday night in Chapel Hill at the age of 83, the school has announced. Smith, who coached the program for 36 seasons, led UNC to two national championships (1982 and 1993) and 11 Final Four appearances. He compiled a record of 879-254 in his stay in Chapel Hill.
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Smith's family has released a statement in regards to his passing:
“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. 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.”
North Carolina's current head coach, Roy Williams, has also issued a heartfelt statement. You can read it in its entirety here:
“It’s such a great loss for North Carolina – our state, the University, of course the Tar Heel basketball program, but really the entire basketball world. We lost one of our greatest ambassadors for college basketball for the way in which a program should be run. We lost a man of the highest integrity who did so many things off the court to help make the world a better place to live in."
Our thoughts and prayers are with Smith's family.