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An overhead view of the basket from the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

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Bill Guthridge, who is best known for assisting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s head coach Dean Smith for 30 years before assuming his position over the Tar Heel program in 1998, passed away last Tuesday night at the age of 77.

Guthridge’s death was confirmed by University officials on Wednesday morning. ,” UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham had this to say about Guthridge:

“Bill Guthridge was a gentlemen coach, but a fierce competitor, and an incredibly loyal member of Dean Smith’s staff for three decades.  When it was his turn as head coach, he immediately won an ACC championship and took two teams to the Final Four. I learned very quickly when I came to Chapel Hill how beloved and respected he was by people all across this community. His loss is deeply felt by our university and the basketball world. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.”

In his total three seasons as UNC’s head coach, Guthridge held an 80-28 record.  After leading UNC to an ACC Tournament title and the Final Four in his first season after the previous head coach (Dean Smith) retired, Guthridge was named the consensus National Coach of the Year (1997-98).

Bill wasn’t just a star himself he also coached soon-to-be NBA superstars Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter.  In his entire career as both an assistant and head coach, Guthridge played a vital part in bringing 867 wins to UNC.


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