Dean Smith by the numbers
Posted February 8
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Before Dean Smith ever coached a game at the University of North Carolina, he was a player on the 1952 Kansas Jayhawks team.
That team won a national championship and today Smith remains one of only two men to win titles as a coach and as a player, but Smith's head coaching career did not begin with that kind of fanfare. His first team at North Carolina won a mere eight games.
Little did anyone know then that Smith would go on to coach that same school to 871 more wins.
When he retired Smith was the winningest head coach in Division 1 history with 879 career wins. That number still ranks him fourth all-time.
In his 36 years as the Carolina coach Smith took the Tar Heels to 27 NCAA tournaments, including 23 straight. And his 11 final fours rank him second behind only John Wooden.
Smith is only one of three men to coach teams to an NCAA tournament title, an NIT title and an Olympic gold medal, only Bob Knight and Pete Newell can match that feat.
He won the ACC tournament 13 times, on top of 17 regular season conference titles. And for 31 consecutive seasons Dean Smith's teams finished in the top three of the ACC.
He coached 26 All-Americans, 25 NBA first-rounders, six national players of the year and Smith was named National Coach of the Year four times.
Dean Smith won two NCAA titles at UNC, beating Georgetown in 1982 and Michigan in 1993. But it's the consistency of Smith's program that stands out, he posted 30 consecutive 20 win seasons, winning 77.6 percent of his games and graduating 96.6 percent of his players along the way.