Bill Guthridge passes, UNC legend

Bill GuthridgeBill Guthridge, the assistant and head coach so associated with the University of North Carolina has passed away, he was 77 years old. The American died on Tuesday night authorities confirmed, no cause of death was offered.

The tactician is known as being a loyal servant to the Tar Heels from 1972 to 2000, both as chief assistant and head coach. Guthridge started his stay in North Carolina at the start of the 1972 season and began a 25-year stay as the chief assistant to Dean Smith. During that quarter of the century he helped UNC reach the Final Four 14 times and was also Smith’s assistant as Team USA won Olympic gold at Montreal 1976.

When Dean Smith retired in 1997, Bill Guthridge was the prime candidate to helm the team going forward, and he did just that for the next three seasons. During his stint as head coach, Guthridge reached the Final Four in 1998 and 2000, while he won Coach of the Year in his first season. He retired from the Tar Heels and indeed the sport in 2000.

He proved a loyal part of the University of North Carolina Basketball setup and turned down several head coaching positions at other schools to remain with the team.

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