Legendary college basketball coach Dean Smith passed away Saturday. The former head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels had a tremendous impact on the college basketball world, but good coaches in any sport will tend to have the respect of coaches and players in other sports. College Basketball Talk has a nice round-up highlighting some comments from around the sports world, first from the UNC family and then branching out to sports personalities like Peter Gammons and Russell Wilson. On a side note, check out Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany in the photo used on College Basketball Talk‘s article for a good laugh.
UNC head football coach Larry Fedora may not have been at Chapel Hill while Smith was coaching the men’s basketball program, but even he knows the importance Smith had on the campus and athletics program. The following statement was released by Fedora Sunday afternoon via the UNC athletics website;
“My deepest condolences and prayers are with the Smith family at this time. Coach Smith was a Tar Heel legend and his impact on UNC athletics, and the Chapel Hill community can not be understated. He was someone I always admired. Every coach – regardless of the sport – learned lessons from the way he ran his program and, most importantly, treated his players and staff. The tradition and legacy he leaves behind will always be part of this great University.”