Simply Duke Basketball – On the Passing of Coach Bill Guthridge …

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Today, we mourn the death of UNC Coach Bill Guthridge after a long illness, with Bermuda Bob handling the tributes …

It is never easy to report the passing of someone everyone knew, respected, and admired.  So, the only way I could report the passing of North Carolina Coach Bill Guthridge this past Tuesday is to note that he has rejoined his best friend on the Bench.

Bill “Coach Gut” Guthridge was a 30 year fixture next to his fellow Kansan on the Tar Heel Bench until he took the helm in 1987 after Dean Smith retired. Here are just a few of his notable accomplishments …

  • North Carolina made the Big Dance in 29 of the 33 years he was on the Bench in either capacity …
  • He would be Assistant to Dean Smith in winning Gold in the 1976 Olympics …
  • In his 3 years as Head Coach, he would take his team to the Final Four twice …
  • In 1997 he led the Tar Heels to a #1 Ranking in the AP Top 25 …
  • He led that team to an ACC Championship …
  • He earned ACC Coach of the Year in 1997 …
  • He would amass an 80-28 record as a Head Coach …

The impact of Coach Guthridge was not just understood within the Tar Heel community, but known far and wide within college basketball.  I believe that it was best encapsulated by Coach K, who commented:

“Though he was a Head Coach for a short time, he gracefully carried on the culture and legacy that many thought could not be perpetuated.”

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@SimplyDukeBB

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