Today in Sports History: October 9

On this day in 1997, North Carolina’s record-winning basketball coach Dean Smith retired. Smith’s illustrious coaching career with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill spanned 36 years, beginning in 1961. Smith secured 879 victories, which was the NCAA Division I men’s basketball record at the time. Boasting an impressive 77.6 overall win percentage, Smith guided the North Carolina Tar Heels to 11 Final Fours and 2x national championships (1982, 1983). Smith’s methods featured a fast-break style, aggressive trapping defense, and a half-court offense that emphasized passing. Smith taught his players the importance of being selfless teammates and giving credit to those around them. Many of Smith’s players have gone on to find great success in the NBA including Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, James Worthy,  Bob McAdoo, Rick Fox, Kenny Smith, and Vince Carter.

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