Dean Smith, Deceased Basketball Coach, Leaves Former Players Money For Dinner In Will

What a guy.

Former North Carolina Tar Heels basketball coach Dean Smith died last month at the age of 83, but that hasn't stopped him from taking care of his players.

This week, his former letterman received a letter from the coach's accountant with a special message from his will. 

"Each player was important to Coach Smith and when he prepared his estate plan, Coach wanted to reach out to each of his lettermen," the letter reads. "Accordingly, Coach directed that following his passing, each letterman be sent $200 with the message 'Enjoy a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith.'"


Sure enough, each player received a check for $200. The letter's closing statement: "Please enjoy your dinner out."

ESPN caught up with Serge Zwikker, who played on Smith's team from 1993-1997. 

"My wife opened the letter and handed it to me. At first I didn't know what it was, but when it hit me, it put a tear in my eye," he told ESPN. "Even after he passed, he was still all about his players."

According to, Coach Smith's record is an impressive 879-254, higher than any other Division 1 basketball team prior to 2007, when Bob Knight surpassed him.

Coach Smith's final gesture for his team is a testament to the kind of man he was. 

"I don't think I can cash this," Zwikker told ESPN. "If anything, I will donate it to a good cause."

Dinner or no dinner, his legacy will live on.


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