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University of North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith died at his home on Saturday night at the age of 83. According to a statement released by his family, Smith died peacefully while surrounded by his wife and five children.

Smith's health had been failing for some time. As early as 2007, he began showing signs of dementia. Just a few years later had trouble remembering the names of friends and family, as well as anything about his career as a coach.


Smith coached the Tar Heels from 1961-1997, finishing his career with an 879-254 record. Smith's teams won the national championship in 1982 and 1993, and made 11 Final Four appearances during his tenure. He coached NBA Hall-of-Fame players Michael Jordan, Bob McAdoo, James Worthy, and Billy Cunningham.

In 1966, Smith recruited Charles Scott to the UNC campus. Scott was UNC's first black scholarship athlete, and became the first black star player in the ACC. In 1949, as a high school basketball player in Kansas, Smith fought to integrate his school's all-white and all-black basketball teams.

In 2013, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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