Dean E. Smith

Besides being a stunningly consistent winner, coaching legend Dean Smith was an innovator. Early in his career, he started tinkering with the game, conceiving the Four Corners offense, and devising the foul-line huddle. His impact on the strategy and tactics of basketball also extended from creating the fatigue signal to implementing the run-and-jump defense. Smith’s teams were known for their unselfish play, great teamwork, and a tenacious man-to-man defense. In coaching the 1976 United States Olympic team to a gold medal and the Tar Heels to NIT and NCAA championships, Smith is one of only three coaches to win the coaching triple crown. A four-time national Coach of the Year, Smith’s basketball bloodlines run deep. He played on the Kansas Jayhawks NCAA championship team under the legendary coach Phog Allen, who learned basketball from James Naismith himself. When Smith retired in 1997, he was college basketball’s winningest coach with 879 wins.