The Tar Heel community is mourning the loss of one their own this morning. A former UNC football star has passed away.
On Sunday, North Carolina great Williams Davidson “Dee” Hardison passed away. He was 61.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, he passed away at UNC Hospitals. Hardison had been admitted to the hospital about two weeks earlier as a result of heart issues.
In his senior season in Chapel Hill, Hardison was named co-captain of the 1977 Tar Heel squad that captured the ACC title and finished ranked 17th nationally after losing in the Liberty Bowl to Nebraska.
That year, the defensive lineman was also first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and was an All-American selection for the Tar Heels. He was instrumental on a defense that limited opponents to 7.4 points per game – good for best in the nation.
Hardison was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) April 23, 2018
Sad to hear about the passing of former #UNC defensive line great Dee Hardison. An All-ACC and All-American for the Tar Heels, and big contributor on 1977 ACC championship squad. #Hobbton High grad and #NCSportsHOF member.
— Sammy Batten (@FO_SammyBatten) April 22, 2018
Hardison was selected in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Bills. He helped Buffalo win their division in 1980 – a year in which their defense led the league in fewest total yards allowed with 4101 yards. He also played for the Giants, Chargers and Chiefs.