By Ken Reed
Legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith passed away on Saturday. He leaves an amazing legacy — on and off the court.
Dean Smith’s impressive coaching record:
27 straight 20-win seasons
33 years in a row of finishing in the top 3 of the ACC
22 seasons of at least 25 wins
13 consecutive Sweet 16 appearances
11 Final Fours
2 National championships
Just as impressively, Smith had a 96.6% graduation rate (30% who went on to some type of grad school). He broke the color barrier in most of the ACC and at UNC when he recruited Charlie Scott, and he helped integrate Chapel Hill, North Carolina by going to his favorite restaurant with a black student. He also helped a black grad student get a home in a previously all white area of Chapel Hill. He campaigned against the death penalty, fought for civil rights for gays and lesbians, and protested nuclear proliferation.
His program never had a single NCAA violation. He was known for his strong ethics, clean program, and stressing character with his players.
He always pushed team play over individualism and was one of the most creative and innovative coaches ever. Some things he’s credited with inventing: the 4-Corners offense, using a quote of the day at practices, having players point at teammates to acknowledge passes/assists, using the tired signal when players needed a break, double-teaming the screen and roll, the run and jump trapping defense, the team huddle at the FT line, and the Carolina fast break.
When players made a bad pass, he would yell “Nice idea!” and clap his hands. He used this positive approach with players because Phog Allen, his coach when he played at Kansas, would berate him for mistakes and immediately pull him from the game.
And he did it all with class.
His secretary said he treated everyone in the program, from secretaries to team managers, to the last person on the bench, the same way: with empathy, caring, and humility.
“Dean Smith is the best person I have ever known and no one else is even a close second,” said Eddie Fogler, who played for Smith and later coached under him and became a successful head coach himself.
Quite a life — as a professional and human being.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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