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

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf 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...

 

 

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tonight at 6:30 on 620am

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Washington

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13