Bill Guthridge, the longtime assistant to Dean Smith as well as his successor as North Carolina’s head basketball coach, died Tuesday night at the age of 77. UNC spokesperson Steve Kirschner confirmed the news Wednesday morning after an Inside Carolina report.
Guthridge played college basketball at Kansas State and began his coaching career as an assistant for the Tex Winter’s Wildcats before joining Dean Smith at UNC in 1967. The two coaches worked side-by-side, with Guthridge assuming the role of top assistant after just a few seasons, for two national titles and multiple Final Four appearances.
In his three seasons as head coach after Smith’s retirement, Guthridge led the Tar Heels to two Final Four appearances (1998, 2000) and an ACC tournament championship in 1998. He stepped down after the 2000 season, 33 years after arriving in Chapel Hill, with an 80-28 record as a head coach.
Rest in peace. #TarHeelFamily pic.twitter.com/erHGicS1pL
— UNC Tar Heels (@GoHeels) May 13, 2015