Former University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach Dean Smith died at age 83 in early February, but he had one last parting gift for all of his former players.
As part of his will, Smith left $US200 for every one of his players who received a varsity letter during his tenure as coach, encouraging the players to have “a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith.”
This was revealed by a Twitter user (see below) who uploaded a photo of a letter and check from Smith’s trust delivered to Dante Calabria, who played for Smith in the mid-1990s.
The letter reads:
As you are aware Coach Dean Smith passed away on February 7, 2015. As Trustee of the Dean E. Smith Revocable Trust, I am responsible for carrying out the directions of Coach Smith with respect to a small bequest to each varsity basketball letterman he coached.
Each player was important and special to Coach Smith and when he prepared his estate plan, Coach wanted to reach out to each of his letterman. Accordingly, Coach directed that following his passing, each letterman be sent a two hundred dollar ($US200.00) check with the message “enjoy a dinner out, compliments of Coach Dean Smith”. Enclosed is a check in the amount of two hundred dollars ($US200.00) with notation “dinner out”.
Please enjoy your dinner out.
Smith was the head coach at North Carolina for 36 seasons. While it is unclear how many players received varsity letters under Smith, an estimate using SportsReference.com suggests it was in the neighbourhood of 250-270. This would put the total cost of the dinners at $US50,000-$US54,000.
Here is the letter:
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