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Dean Smith – A National Hero

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Dean Smith celebrating an exiting win as his players jump with joy.

Dean Smith celebrating an exiting win as his players jump with joy.

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Dean Smith celebrating an exiting win as his players jump with joy.

Ridge Stimson, Staff Reporter

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Dean Smith was one of the best college basketball coaches to ever live.  Dean Smith died at the age of 83, on February 7, 2015 after most notably, .  coaching the Carolina Tar Heels for around 40 years.  He was not only a good coach, but he was also a very good person and man helping with his players personal issues and issues going on around the country.

Smith coached the North Carolina Tar Heels bringing them to 13 ACC championships, 11 final fours, and 5 national championships in which he only won two of.  Coach Smith, during his first year had a losing season, but after that he never had one losing season ever again.  Dean Smith help create the shot clock because his team was professional at wasting all of the time in a game.  Dean Smith was also brought into the college basketballs hall of fame.  Coach Smith is a true hero in which he will go down in history for all eternity.

During one of the tournament games in 1977, the Tar Heels were down by one point against Georgetown in New Orleans.  Dean Smith decided to then put in Michael Jordan the freshman to knock down the winning basket.  With seconds left on the running clock Michael Jordan took the leap of faith and swished the 16 foot jumper to win the game for the Tar Heels 63-62.  The Tar Heels would then go on to win the National Championship that year.  Dean Smith would also be the first person to graduate a black basketball player.  96% of all his basketball players would graduate from college throughout his entire career.  Dean Smith would also help in the fight for Civil Rights for African-Americans.

¨Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach — he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life.”

-Michael Jordan  

Dean Smith would also help transform Michael Jordan to become one of the best basketball players in the history of mankind.  ¨Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach — he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life,¨ explained Michael Jordan after Dean Smith’s death.

Over the years  Smith would also coach 50 players that would make it into the NBA or the ABA.  George Karl and Eddie Fogler who served behind Dean Smith would also work their way up to become professional basketball coaches.  Dean Smith who was very smart and intelligent began to experience health problems in which he would begin to lose memory of things that have happened.  During Smith’s health issues President Barack Obama gave Dean Smith the Medal of Freedom for what he did during the Civil Rights movement.  He would then die on February 7, 2015.  Coach Smith was a great father, husband, mentor, and coach who will always be remembered for years to come.

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Ridge Stimson, Staff Reporter

Hello, my name is Ridge Stimson and I’m a staff reporter for Tiger Tracks.  I really like to write about current day issues within the United States. ...

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Dean Smith – A National Hero