UNC Coach Dean Smith Leaves $200 to Select Players in His Will, Tells Them to ‘Enjoy a Dinner Out’


"There's no way you guys would have got a chance to see Michael Jordan play without Dean Smith," Jordan has said of his college coach. 

Dean Smith, the legendary UNC Tar Heels coach whose roster included a young Michael Jordan, left a gift in his will to each of the letter winners who played for him during his 36-year tenure, reports ESPN.com.

At the time of his retirement, Smith had coached 879 victories, then the record for NCAA Division I men's basketball. Smith was also the first UNC coach to recruit an African American scholarship student, Charlie Scott.

According to a form letter sent to Dante Calabria, a member of Smith’s 1993 national title team, each letterman is to receive a $200 check with the message to “enjoy a dinner out, compliments of Coach Dean Smith.”


Smith’s trustee, Tim Breedlove, told ESPN.com that approximately 180 letter winners were each mailed a check. “This was the kind of man that he was,” said Breedlove. “It's one more example of his thoughtfulness.”