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Coach Cal Remembers Dean Smith

Not long after after the news of Dean Smith’s passing, John Calipari posted the following message on social media:

Just a sad day for basketball to lose one of the great coaches of all-time in Dean Smith. Dean Smith was the most innovative and player-loved coach of his time. Just to give you an idea of how much I admired and respected Dean Smith, here’s what I wrote about him last summer.

Calipari then linked the post where he pays tribute to Dean Smith, which you can find at here at  Here are a few excerpts from Calipari’s blog:

It may seem crazy to think that something so logical as making it about the kids as innovative, but Dean Smith made it part of the foundation that we coach on today. You’ve heard me say many times that during the season it’s about our team but the minute it’s over it’s about each individual player. Well, I got that straight from Dean Smith. He spoke that way through the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s and he inspired me to do the same.

Dean Smith was the original players-first coach. He was the original coach who developed players, yet built a team and let those players drag the program. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do now.

Lastly, he mentions that it shouldn’t matter who Smith coached for, but what he contributed to college basketball:

Dean Smith was truly a great coach and it can be argued that he was the best at what he did. He is a great man that our fans — whether you like North Carolina or not — need to know and remember. He impacted our game and our program in so many ways and I can’t thank him enough for making such an impact on how we do things at the University of Kentucky.


Article written by Kory Henry

"We will kick, pass, and run, til the battle is won!" Bleeding blue since 1990. @KoryHenryKSR

9 Comments for Coach Cal Remembers Dean Smith

  1. HanOfTheBluegrass
    11:46 am February 8, 2015 Permalink

    Condolences to his family, but as people praise him for his record and how he ran that program, let us not forget that he very well may have been cheating for a long time. If you’re going to receive praise for your work, in life or in death, so too must you receive criticism for your work.

    Death does not turn a person into a saint. Again, I only mention this because so many people choose only to praise the departed, whether in honor of them or for their family, but it is a falsehood that endorses cheating.

    • hersheyisabear
      11:50 am February 8, 2015 Permalink

      And the UNC scandal will disappear. I agree. The man was one of the greats but at the same time could be apart of the biggest Academic fraud in College history. I believe this whole UNC situation will be forgotten about now. A clean slate for UNC.

    • BTownUKFan
      12:02 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

      Agreed. Smith almost ruined college basketball with his 4-corners offense. If the media thinks games are boring this year try watching a game pre-shot clock where they pass the ball around for 5 minutes.

      Freddy Brown of Georgetown gets an assist on Smith’s first championship and Chris Webber of Michigan gets an assist on the second. With that said he had some very good teams, kept North Carolina in the hunt and kept Duke from running away with the ACC.

  2. Time Expired
    12:07 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

    All the praise for Smith, makes one wonder if UNC people praised the great Baron of the Bluegrass, Adolph Rupp. I will bet they did not.

  3. Bookend
    12:37 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

    Good Coach. Great recruiter. Decent game coach. But he had no reason to grab/insult Rick Robey.
    He hated UK, and his dream was to stay alive long enough to beat (at the time) the record for most wins in a season, held by Rupp…Although Rupp’s record was back when teams could only play 24 games or so in season.

    • Time Expired
      1:21 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

      Very few realize how good Rupp was. If he had the number of games each year as do coaches today they would still be chasing him.

  4. cats paw
    6:42 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

    Only in Kentucky ….announce the DEATH of a person and the fans see it as an opportunity to point out our coach or program is better. Congrats, you all are all winners!

    • BTownUKFan
      10:45 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

      People die every day, it doesn’t make them heroes or saints. I hated the 4 corners offense and I hated Smith and North Carolina for creating it. Dying doesn’t change the fact they had to implement a shot clock because Smith was making college basketball unwatchable.

  5. MacGruber
    7:02 pm February 8, 2015 Permalink

    Thanks Cats paw, we are winners!