banner
North Carolina

Dean Smith will not attend Medal of Freedom ceremony

Posted November 14, 2013

North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith will not attend the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House next week, according to UNC team spokesman Steve Kirschner.

It was in 2010 that the family revealed that Smith is suffering from a "progressive neurocognitive disorder that affects his memory." Due to his health Smith is unable to make the trip Nov. 20.

Smith, who led the Tar Heels to two national championships and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, will be represented by his wife Dr. Linnea Smith, his children, long-time coaching assistant, Bill Guthridge, and current UNC coach Roy Williams.

"This is an extraordinary honor," Smith’s family said in a statement. "We were touched by those who asked for the recognition and by the President’s decision to give an award to Dean for his work both on and off the court."

Smith retired in 1997 as the all-time winningest coach in men’s college basketball history with 879 victories – all of them with UNC. He currently sits fourth on that list having been passed by Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Bobby Knight.

"I’m so proud of Coach Smith, happy for his family and friends and appreciative to President Obama for this just recognition," said current UNC head coach Roy Williams.

Obama will award 16 people with the honor this year including Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. Other notables include former President Bill Clinton, country music singer Loretta Lynn, female astronaut Sally Ride and TV personality Oprah Winfrey.

17 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Lady Nov 15, 4:46 p.m.

    Congratulations to Coach Smith and his family! I just wish he could be there...sending happy thoughts!

  • 75Tarheel Nov 15, 10:11 a.m.

    Simply put Coach Smith emulated this mantra wherever he went. He is absolutely the best ambassador UNC has ever had. The honor he will receive is most appropriate and Carolina alumni, supporters and fans everywhere are wishing Coach well.

    GO HEELS!!

  • 75Tarheel Nov 15, 10:02 a.m.

    Dignified.

    The Carolina Way.

    LOL at old Markie....always good for a joke and BOY is that a good... View More

    — Posted by baseball2

    You've been admonished by a Duke supporter. That's all that needs to be said.

    Thanks Durham Devil..

  • LUKECAGE Nov 15, 9:42 a.m.

    Along with Coach Smith's family, hopefully, Coach Williams, Coach Guthridge, and Coach Doherty will attend, and as many current and former players and/or coaches that have been a part of Carolina basketball.

  • DurhamDevil Nov 15, 9:29 a.m.

    Bless your heart Dean. I enjoyed watching you when i was at school.

    — Posted by heelgrad1978

    sAnd what school was that? (eyeroll.)

    Anyway...

    I'm glad someone hasn't decided it would be a good... View More

    — Posted by stomponurlogo

    "The Carolina Way"..... lol

    — Posted by BlueDevils00

    From one Duke fan to another...this is not the thread for sarcasm. Show a little class and let's keep this one on topic. Rise above it.

  • baseball2 Nov 15, 9:18 a.m.

    Dignified.

    The Carolina Way.

    LOL at old Markie....always good for a joke and BOY is that a good one!

    #wecheatwheneverconvenient

  • mxteam44 Nov 15, 7:45 a.m.

    I hate that his health will keep him from accepting this award. My dad is suffering from the same illness, and it's a really sad process to witness.

    Congrats Coach Smith!!! A much deserved honor!

  • BlueDevils00 Nov 15, 7:25 a.m.

    Bless your heart Dean. I enjoyed watching you when i was at school.

    — Posted by heelgrad1978

    sAnd what school was that? (eyeroll.)

    Anyway...

    I'm glad someone hasn't decided it would be a good... View More

    — Posted by stomponurlogo

    "The Carolina Way"..... lol

  • iron fist Nov 15, 6:34 a.m.

    God bless you Coach Smith

  • Gunnstigator Nov 14, 9:19 p.m.

    This is bittersweet: Coach Smith is very deserving of this award, yet his health won't allow him to accept the award. I'm glad Roy, Coach Gutt, and Dean's wife can accept the award for him.

    I'm impressed with the thoughtful posts here (so far).

More...

 

 

  • SEC: Florida at Alabama

    Today at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Oklahoma at West Virginia

    Tonight at 6:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Oakland at New England

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Washington at Philadelphia

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Florida at Alabama

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: NC State vs. Presbyterian

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Columbus

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
2nd
DUKE 19
TULA 7
 
3:30pm Today
ECU
UNC
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCSU
PRES
 
3rd
KAN 0
DET 0
 
3rd
CHC 1
LOS 5
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
4:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
CWS
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
NYM
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
SEA
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
7:15pm Tonight
STL
CIN
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
Half
WISC 41
BGU 10
 
3rd
MSU 49
EMICH 0
 
3rd
VT 16
GT 10
 
3rd
PITT 17
IOWA 14
 
3rd
RICE 14
ODU 28
 
3rd
UGA 45
TROY 0
 
2nd
SYR 13
MD 24
 
2nd
DUKE 19
TULA 7
 
2:00pm Today
COL
HAW
2:00pm Today
AKR
MARS
3:30pm Today
WAKE
ARMY
3:30pm Today
KU
CMICH
3:30pm Today
ALA
UF
3:30pm Today
FIU
LOU
3:30pm Today
ECU
UNC
3:30pm Today
NAVY
RUTG
3:30pm Today
SMU
TEXAM
3:30pm Today
MICH
UTAH
3:30pm Today
BYU
UVA
4:00pm Today
WYO
FATL
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
IND
4:00pm Today
PSU
UMASS
4:00pm Today
MINN
SJST
4:00pm Today
ILL
TXST
6:00pm Tonight
WASH
GASTATE
7:00pm Tonight
SMISS
APPST
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
7:00pm Tonight
OHIO
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
UMO
7:00pm Tonight
MEM
MTST
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
MSST
7:00pm Tonight
ARK
NILL
7:00pm Tonight
ARKST
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
GASO
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
OKLA
7:30pm Tonight
VANDY
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
FSU
CLEM
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
UNLV
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
6:00pm Tonight
TOWSN
NCCU
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCSU
PRES