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Saturday, June 03, 2006

 

Dean Smith: Politics is Just Not His Game

- By Nathan Tabor

To call Dean Smith a legend would be an understatement. For many of us who spent our formative years in North Carolina, he was the epitome of a coaching great. I came to North Carolina when I was 13, and I can tell you, to live in Dean Smith territory was considered a true honor for any basketball fan.

During his tenure as head coach of the men's basketball team at the University of North Carolina, he gained a reputation as one of the greatest coaches in sports history. In fact, he's the all-time leader when it comes to victories by an NCAA Division I men's basketball coach. His teams appeared in the Final Four eleven times and he won two national championships. In any sport, that kind of record would be considered evidence of a true champion--a natural leader.

Smith also gained a reputation as a winner off the court. He ran a clean program and didn't get into the type of ethics escapades that tarnished the records of other coaches. An incredible 96 percent of Smith's players graduated, indicating his determination to ensure that his players received a solid education. In short, he was the type of coach that any university would be proud to have on its roster....................
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