Smith, Dean Edwards

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Smith, Dean Edwards

Dean Edwards Smith, 1931–2015, American college basketball coach, b. Emporia, Kans. After playing basketball at the Univ. of Kansas (grad. 1953), Smith joined (1954) the Air Force and became an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy. He began coaching at the Univ. of North Carolina in 1958, was appointed head coach in 1961, and led the UNC Tar Heels until his retirement in 1997, becoming one of the most successful (879 wins) and popular college basketball coaches. Under Smith, UNC had 27 consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins, and won 17 season and 13 tournament championships in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a National Invitational Tournament (1971), and two NCAA titles (1982, 1993). A master of strategy, Smith initiated such plays as the "run and jump" defense and the "four corners" delay offense. In 1967 he integrated the Tar Heels when he added Charlie Scott to the team. Smith, who also coached the 1976 U.S. team to Olympic gold, was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

See his Basketball: Multiple Offense and Defense (1981, rev. ed. 1998) and autobiography (1999, with J. Kilgo and S. Jenkins); A. Chansky, Game Changers (2016)

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