Former UNC coach Dean Smith unable to make trip to accept medal

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Dean Smith

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith won’t be able to go to the White House to accept his Presidential Medal of Freedom next week due to illness.

According to his family, Smith suffers from a neurocognitive disease that affects his memory and his wife thinks making the trip would be too difficult for him.

His wife and their three children will attend the ceremony Nov. 20 on his behalf.


Smith coached the UNC Tar Heels from 1961-1997.

He was also an advocate for Civil Rights, and brought the first black scholarship athlete to UNC.

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