Dean Smith personal papers collection now available at UNC’s Wilson Library

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The collection of personal papers are now available for viewing


(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Nov. 30, 2017) – On Thursday, November 30th, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries received a gift of personal records from Coach Dean Smith. The nearly 12,000-item collection offers a closer look at Dean Smith the man and includes photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings and more.


Archivists recommend those who want to see the collection make an appointment by emailing or calling (919) 962-3765.


For more information, please see:

Some of the items in the collection include:

  • Cover page from Smith’s 1946 high-school report on Emporia, Kansas (he got an A)
  • Handwritten notes by Smith for his acceptance speech on receiving the Kansan of the Year award in 2001 (the notes mention Roy Williams)
  • Souvenir brochure from the 1952 University of Kansas basketball team (Smith was on the team)
  • Invitation to the 55th reunion of the 1952 Kansas basketball team in 2007 (Smith attended the reunion)
  • Photo of Smith, players shortly after winning the 1982 NCAA championship (used in his autobiography)
  • Note of congratulations to Smith after winning career game number 877 from “fellow former Jayhawk” Senator Bob Dole
  • Note of congratulations on 877 from Clemson coach Rick Barnes
  • Telegram from Michael (Jordan, curators are fairly certain) to Smith after win number 877
  • Letter from Smith explaining his decision not to run against Jesse Helms for U.S. Senate in 1990
  • Handwritten note from Bobby Knight expressing his gratitude to Smith for his support after an unflattering article about Knight ran in Sports Illustrated
  • Cover of the program from the 1982 NCAA final four
  • Cover of a 1980 copy of Tar Heel magazine with Smith on the cover and the caption: “Dean Smith: Gentleman or Phony?”




About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.


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