As an 18 year NCAA Division I head and assistant coach, I was blessed to have coached against the best. Bob Knight, Coach K, Eddie Sutton, Tom Izzo, Tom Davis, Ralph Miller, Billy Donovan, Roy Williams……and Dean Smith.
Our Miami of Ohio team won the 1990-91 MAC regular season and tournament championship. Fortunately we were placed in Cincinnati for the NCAA Tournament first round, just 20 miles from the Oxford campus.
I remember the game well as we built a 7 point lead in the second half but couldn’t hold on. The size, length, and experience of the Tar Heels took over. Throughout the entire process of game preparation, pre-game, and the game itself I felt an awesome sense of greatness.
That greatness was the North Carolina coach, Dean Smith.
I had seen coach Smith at clinics, read his books and clinic notes, used his Point Zone and followed his teams. Coach Smith’s program was always first class. His resilience, and sideline composure, as well as being a top notch tactician, made him one of the all-time greats. Just being in the same building was a thrill and to have the chance to compete against Dean Smith was a coaches dream!
You will be missed, Coach Dean Smith.
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