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wes thu hal, Dean Smith

I heard on the news tonight that Dean Smith, the legendary Carolina basketball coach, died. I didn't care much for sports, but I am from North Carolina and my dad was a sports writer before him, and he was as much a dinner table name as any state legislator. He was a giant and as far as I could tell a good, decent man, so I keep thinking I should feel something. I do know there are lots of folks back home who have fond memories of him. He certainly touched a lot of lives.

One interesting bit I heard on the news: he apparently signed the first black player in the ACC, which is both interesting and not all that surprising. My sense was that he was pretty no-nonsense and progressive in how he ran his team. I do now a few people from high school who were affiliated with the UNC program (though not as on-court players), and they said he seemed more driven by what was good for his players than the program generally than you see at a lot of big-name programs. So wes thu hal, Coach Dean.

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