Dean Smith: “just do what’s right”

 John Feinstein wrote an article for   The Washington Post a few days after Dean Smith’s 83rd birthday, and one story he told stood out to me above the rest. When Smith arrived in Chapel Hill in 1958 to serve as an assistant coach at UNC under Frank McGuire, he was appalled to learn that Chapel Hill restaurants were still segregated. He talked to his pastor and the two came up with the idea for Smith to go to a restaurant where the management knew him, and take a black member of the church with him. He did, and the two were seated and served. “That was the beginning of de-segregration in Chapel Hill,” wrote Feinstein. When he interviewed Smith in 2007, before the onset of dementia, he asked the coach about that story. “Who told you about that?” Smith asked, with an angry look. Feinstein told him that he had heard about it from the pastor, and that Smith should be proud of doing what he did. Dean Smith leaned forward in his chair and said quietly, “You should never be proud of doing what’s right. You should just do what’s right.”

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