Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/10/13
Dean E. Smith (Photo Credit: Tar Heel Nation As all of you know, since the news in an electronics era like this bit of news could be considered old… legendary coach Dean Smith will receive the highest award that can be given to a civilian … The Presidential Medal of Freedom. But there are two simple reasons for this delay, first because I did not want to rush into writing about something like this, and second, because it is tough to type while being teary eyed. I could say so much about this man, but many better writers and fact finders have done so all over the media, both main stream and social, and I hope that all of you that read this have also read all the other articles about this great coach and even better man. He deserves every single accolade that he receives… and then some more. I will just say this to the man who has been the father figure of what is North Carolina basketball… Thank You. Thank You for having done wonders on the court and even more off of it. Thank You for taking young men, no matter their nationality or race, and turning them into men. Thank You for the milestones you have reached, but never took credit for, always teaching us that to be great it is about “we” and never about “me”. Thank You for showing us that there is no good in selfishness, giving your long time assistant his chance at the helm… leaving him a great team to do it with. Thank You for showing us that you would not hold anyone back, getting a young assistant coach the head job at Kansas, then, when needed, helping UNC bring him back to Chapel Hill. Thank You for having done what you thought was right all the time, not just on the court, even when it meant not being popular for it. Thank You, as President Obama said, for having dedicated your life to enrich ours. And that “ours” is a huge number when it comes to you. Thank You for 36 years, that stretch four decades, but will remain forever in the history, not just of basketball, not just of Carolina, but of life! I am an old schooler, but today I am happy to be typing on a computer, cause if not, the paper would not be dry once I took it out of the typewriter. And those tears are of joy, as they are my “Thank You” to you Dean Smith. One that is echoed by many others, but probably are not enough for what he has done.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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