Dean Smith biography

Dean Smith

Basketball Coach

1931 –

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Who is Dean Smith?

Dean Edwards Smith is a retired American head coach of men's college basketball. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Smith has been called a “coaching legend” by the Basketball Hall of Fame. Smith is best known for his successful 36-year coaching tenure at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith coached from 1961 to 1997 and retired with 879 victories, which was the NCAA Division I men's basketball record at that time. Smith has the 9th highest winning percentage of any men’s college basketball coach. During his tenure as head coach of North Carolina, the team won two national titles and appeared in 11 Final Fours.

Smith is also known for running a clean program and having a high graduation rate for his players, with 96.6% of his athletes receiving their degrees. While at North Carolina, Smith helped promote desegregation by recruiting the University’s first African American scholarship basketball player, Charlie Scott, and pushing for equal treatment for African Americans by local businesses. Smith coached and worked with numerous individuals at North Carolina who went on to achieve notable success in basketball, as either players or coaches or both. Smith retired as head coach from North Carolina in 1997, saying that he was not able to give the team the same level of enthusiasm that he had given it for years. Since retirement, Smith has used his influence to help out in various charitable ventures and political activities.


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Feb 28, 1931
Also known as
  • Dean Edwards Smith
  • United States of America
  • University of Kansas
  • Topeka High School

on July 23, 2013

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