Dean Edwards Smith was an American head coach of men's college basketball. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Smith was called a \"coaching legend\" by the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is best known for his 36-year coaching tenure at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith coached from 1961 to 1997 and retired with 879 victories, which was the NCAA Division I men's basketball record at that time. Smith had the 9th highest winning percentage of any men's college basketball coach. During his tenure as head coach, North Carolina won two national championships and appeared in 11 Final Fours.
Smith was known for running a clean program and having a high graduation rate, with 96.6% of his athletes receiving their degrees. While at North Carolina, Smith helped promote desegregation by recruiting the university's first African-American scholarship basketball player, Charlie Scott, and pushing for equal treatment for African Americans by local businesses. Smith coached and worked with numerous people at North Carolina who achieved notable success in basketball, as players, coaches, or both.