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.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Lady Nov 15, 2013

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

  • 75Tarheel Nov 15, 2013

    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, 2013

    View quoted thread

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

    Thanks Durham Devil..

  • LUKECAGE Nov 15, 2013

    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, 2013

    View quoted thread

    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, 2013


    The Carolina Way.

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


  • mxteam44 Nov 15, 2013

    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, 2013

    View quoted thread

    "The Carolina Way"..... lol

  • iron fist Nov 15, 2013

    God bless you Coach Smith

  • StunGunn Nov 14, 2013

    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).




  • NFL Chicago at Dallas

    Tonight at 8:20 on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Chicago at Dallas

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Hurricanes at Washington (Stream only)

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Atlanta at New Orleans

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 22
New England27
Sunday, Sep. 25
Green Bay34
NY Giants27
San Francisco107:50
4th Qtr
Los Angeles3111:39
4th Qtr
Tampa Bay20
San Diego191:32
3rd Qtr
NY Jets311:18
4th Qtr
Kansas City17
3rd Qtr
Chicago 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Monday, Sep. 26
Atlanta 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
New Orleans 
NHL Preseason
St. Louis7
St. Louis 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
TOUR Championship (PGA)
1tR. McIlroy-1218
1tR. Moore-1218
1tK. Chappell-1218
4P. Casey-918
5H. Matsuyama-618
6tJ. Thomas-518
6tD. Johnson-518
8tA. Scott-418
8tJ. Dufner-418
10tS. Kim-218
View Full Leaderboard
Evian Champ (LPGA)
1I. Chun-21F
2tS. Park-17F
2tS. Ryu-17F
4S. Feng-15F
5S. Kim-14F
6I. Kim-12F
7A. Stanford-10F
8H. Nomura-9F
9tB. Henderson-7F
9tA. Jutanugarn-7F
View Full Leaderboard
European Open (EURO)
1A. Levy - z-19F
2R. Fisher - y-19F
3tM. Jonzon-16F
3tR. Karlsson-16F
5B. Wiesberger-15F
6M. Kaymer-14F
7tR. Bland-13F
7tE. De La Riva-13F
7tF. Fritsch-13F
7tG. Havret-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
Pacific Links (CHMP)
1tC. Montgomerie-149
1tS. McCarron-149
3tM. Jimenez-1318
3tS. Dunlap-1310
5tB. Langer-1215
5tD. Waldorf-1212
5tD. Garwood-129
8tF. Funk-1117
8tM. Dawson-1113
8tW. Wood-1113
View Full Leaderboard
ATP Scoreboard
Sunday, Sep. 25
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
(1) S. Wawrinka2 6 5   
(5) A. Zverev6 3 7   
Moselle Open (ATP)
(1) D. Thiem65 2    
(3) L. Pouille77 6    
WTA Scoreboard
Sunday, Sep. 25
Korea Open (WTA)
(5) M. Niculescu0 6 0   
L. Arruabarre6 2 6   
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
First Round
Y. Wickmayer6 77    
S. Rogers3 61    
D. Kovinic79 5 4   
L. Siegemund67 7 6   
Y. Shvedova6 6    
S. Zheng0 3    
I. Begu4 77 6   
E. Kulichkova6 64 2   
V. Lepchenko5 3    
L. Safarova7 6    
T. Babos3 5    
K. Siniakova6 7    
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 3    
B. Bencic3 4    
(13) R. Vinci6 6    
M. Puig3 3    
(12) T. Bacsinszky3 3    
L. Chirico6 4    
E. Makarova6 6    
S. Lisicki1 2