A Coach’s Life

My 40 Years in College Basketball

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
For almost forty years, Dean Smith coached the University of North Carolina basketball team with unsurpassed success, having an impact both on the court and in the lives of countless young men. In A Coach’s Life, he looks back on the great games, teams, players, strategies, and rivalries that defined his career and, in a new final chapter, discusses his retirement from the game. The fundamentals of good basketball are the fundamentals of character—passion, discipline, focus, selflessness, and responsibility—and superlative mentor and coach Dean Smith imparts them all with equal authority.


Chapter 1
A Kansas Childhood

I'm a Kansan, even though I've lived most of my adult life in North Carolina. I speak like a Kansan, in a flat Midwest voice free of any accent. I'm not quick to say aloud what's on my mind. I say what I think-just not everything I think-and some would say that, too, is...
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“Dean Smith epitomizes what a coach can be—teacher, counselor,
mentor, example, friend.”—Bill Bradley

“Coach taught me the game. . . . He’s like a second father to me.”
—Michael Jordan

“Dean Smith is not merely a basketball coach of historic accomplishments. He is also a man of uncommon integrity and decency. His life story will be heartening to the many Americans who have watched him shape two generations of young athletes to reach their full potential as men.”
—Senator John McCain

“Dean Smith is a better teacher of basketball than anyone else.”
—John Wooden, former coach, UCLA