Related Items
Information on the North Carolina athletic program is available in the North Carolina area of Sports Across America.

Mini Photo Gallery

Dean Smith Coaching
AP File Photo

Daen Smith Smiling
TWP File Photo

Smith Smiles
AP File Photo

Go to College Basketball Section

Go to Sports Section



Dean Smith October 9, 1997
Smith Retires
On October 9, 1997, Dean Smith stunned the sports world by stepping down as coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels after 36 seasons. This package offers a look back at The Washington Post's coverage of the retirement, its impact on college basketball and reaction at the university.

Heels Off Dean's List After 36 Years
Tarheels Logo As practice begins at two of the nation's top programs, there is a different feeling in the air for Duke and North Carolina. The Tar Heels are without Dean Smith, and the impact is being felt at both schools.

The End of an Era at North Carolina
Dean Smith
AP Photo
Dean Smith (pictured), the dean of college basketball, ended one of the most successful careers in the history of the game on Oct. 9 with his retirement as North Carolina's basketball coach. Smith's 36-year run included two national championships, 11 Final Four appearances and a record 879 career victories. At a news conference, he cited a lack of enthusiasm for the game as his primary reason for stepping down. Longtime assistant Bill Guthridge will replace Smith as the Tar Heels' coach.

Guthridge Gets a Five-Year Contract

Moral Tone Led to Great Success
Smith Steps Down
  • Reaction From ACC, Fans
  • Clinton Wishes Smith Well
  • Nike Deal Still Stands
  • Guthridge Takes Over
  • Kansas Ties Run Deep
  • Students Miss the Dean
  • Jim Phelan Now Active Leader
  • Michael Wilbon
    The outpouring of well wishes for Dean Smith has been incredible, with calls and comments from President Clinton and Michael Jordan. But as Post columnist Michael Wilbon (pictured) writes, there are many more people — with much lower profiles — that owe the legendary coach a debt of gratitude.

    Copyright 1997

    Back to the top

    Navigation image map
    Home page Site Index Search Help! Home page Site Index Search Help!