Everyone is talking about the passing of the legendary coach from Chapel Hill so I will share my story of the one time I crossed paths with him. A few years ago I was asked by my boss to record a short video of Coach Smith congratulating his son on his wedding. Not an opportunity you want to miss when all you have to do is set up equipment, hit record and get to meet someone famous. And while I’ve never been a fame chaser as a lifelong ACC Basketball fan this was
A little background – having grown up in North Carolina I thought at one point that I was a UNC fan. (Everyone born in this state is cursed to think they are a Carolina fan for a least a short period.) Fortunately it was a phase but I still had a stuffed Rameses from when I was younger packed neatly in the back of the closet.
Long story short – I met and actually had a reasonable amount of time to talk with Dean Smith. As many have said before and it looks like everyone is saying now I couldn’t have imagined how nice he was. He laughed a little when he signed my stuffed animal. Probably not a request he got from many adults but that was my UNC connection as old as it was. The ram still sits on a shelf in my office and probably always will.
There will be countless stories like mine that you’ll read in the next days and months. Dean Smith left his mark on the world in a way that we all hope to do. He was great at what he did but he was better for who he was. You will be missed.