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Dean Smith, Legendary Coach, Dies At 83

Dean Smith
UNC-Chapel Hill

Dean Smith, the legendary men's college basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has passed away. He was 83 years old.

"Coach Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children," his 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."

Smith spent 36 years as the head coach at UNC-Chapel Hill. During that span, he won 879 games. When he retired in 1997, that total was the most wins of any Division I men’s college basketball coach in history.

Smith is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, helped desegregate the sport in the South, and was a champion of several causes off the court, including the abolition of the death penalty.

In 2013, President Barack Obama presented Smith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

>>For more on Smith’s life and legacy, read this remembrance.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Supervising Editor for Politics and Education. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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