Flags on North Carolina state government buildings are flying at half-staff today (Feb. 9) in memory of Dean Smith, the long-time basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who died Feb. 7 at age 83.
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory ordered the move to honor Smith, The flags are to fly at half-staff through sunset Wednesday.
President Barack Obama issued a statement Sun., Feb. 8, regarding the passing of Coach Smith. Mr. Obama noted that, when Smith retired, he had won more games than any other college basketball coach in history. The president also recognized Smith’s commitment to academics, pointing to the fact he graduated more than 96 percent of his players.
Mr. Obama also said the coach “pushed forward the Civil Rights movement, recruiting the first black scholarship athlete to North Carolina and helping to integrate a restaurant and a neighborhood in Chapel Hill.”
Dean Smith was awarded the President Medal of Freedom in 2013.
This article from the Raleigh News & Observer recounts a special memorial gathering Feb. 8 at the Dean Smith Center and provides a timeline of Smith’s accomplishments during his time at UNC: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/08/4541382_carolina-family-mourns-dean-smith.html