CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Legendary University of North Carolina head basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday evening at the age of 83, according to the University of North Carolina’s official athletics website.
Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, tallying a record of 879-254 in those 36 seasons. He also won two national championships, in 1982 and 1993.
He is often mentioned in the same breath as former Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and longtime rival Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, all of whom are considered among the greatest men’s college basketball coaches of all time.
“Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” the Smith 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. Thank you.”