The University of North Carolina is known for its coaches, primarily Dean Smith, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. But aside from Coach Smith and Bill Gutheridge, his successor, who else contributed to Carolina's fenominal history in basketball, the second all-time victory holder (soon to be #1 again).
Nat Cartmell was Carolina's first basketball coach. In 1910, when the basketball team was first formed, Cartmell was the track and field coach after being a world famous sprinter from the University of Pennsylvania. The Tarheels played such exciting opponents as Durham YMCA, Charlotte YMCA, and Atlantic Christian. Games with more familiar opponents such as Wake Forest, Virginia, and Davidson were also played that year. Cartwell was later dismissed after four years as coach due to participation in a dice game. At this time, Carolina basketball ushered in crowds of up to one HUNDRED spectators.
Doak's career as coach started rocky, loosing his first two games to the mighty foes at the Durham YMCA, and losing his last game of that 6-10 season to the Lynchburg Elks. Doak compiled an 18-16 record in his two years of coaching. No word yet as to if he is the namesake for DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM
Howell started off on the right track by beating rival Virginia for the first time in the team's history his first season (1916-17). However, the two following seasons would see losses to the Cavaliers and although Peacock's team had a 9-3 record the 1917-18 season, he was replaced for the 1919 season.
Boye was the coach for two years, 1919-21, and his teams did nothing special, losing once again to Virginia both seasons in four total games. After Boye, the team went uncoached for two seasons until the next coach took over.
Norman Shepard was originally the freshmen basketball team's coach, but he stepped up and took the job as the Varsity team's coach seeing as they had none and were required to by the Helm's Foundation. The team went undefeated and were declared 1924 National Champions by the Helm's Foundation. Shepard, instead of try to repeat his 26-0 season, left the position to sell tobacco in China.
MONK MCDONALD & HARLAN SANBORN
McDonald was a player on the 1924 team, and when his eligibility as a player ran out and he became a medical student, he took the job as head coach of the 1925 team. The team went on to an 18-5 record. The next year Sanborn took over the duties as McDonald decided to quit and concentrate on medical school. 1926's team had a 20-5 record, proving the fact that with players like Carmichael and Cobb, any coach would do.
As the first great era of Carolina basketball ended, Ashmore came to the head of the program. Ashmore coached for five years, and although his record was 79-37, his teams never reached the Southern Conference finals, much less the title of Conference Champions.
George Shepard was the brother of former coach Norman Shepard. Like his brother, Shepard would lead his team to new heights. Shepard's team would return to the Southern Conference final in his first year and win the tournament. Shepard would coach four years after spending years in the athletic department, including being an assistant coach at one time. Shepard revitalized the program with brilliant coaching, introducing the Eastern style of basketball, and recruiting strongly from Charlotte, one of the strongest recruiting centers of the South. Unfortunately after the 1935 season, Shepard's physician advised him to retire due to an ulcer.
Skidmore was promoted from freshman coach in 1936, and the team went 21-4. Skidmore had helped many of the Carolina players develop in Charlotte, and the Tarheels had great seasons the following two seasons although a Conference Championship wasn't reached. However, the 1938-39 season was the first losing season in nineteen years and Skidmore stepped down as coach.
Perhaps Bill Lange didn't look like the typical basketball coach. That's probably because he was the assistant coach of the football team before taking over duties as head coach of the basketball team. However, many did not know that he had once played professional ball with the Cleveland Rosenblooms. Lange had a weapon though in George Glamack, a two time National Player of the Year, a feat that had been accomplished only twice at that time. Lange's team went 20-3 his first year. The Tarheels were invited to their first NCAA tournament in 1941, only its third year in existence. The war came and although there were no seniors at Carolina, there were 12 sophomores. Lange ended his career at Carolina with a 17-10 1944 season, leaving Chapel Hill to become athletic director at Kenyon College.
Carnevale came to Carolina as an athletic officer in the Navy V-12 program, but he stayed for two very successfull seasons. The Tarheels would go 52-11 under Carnevale's coaching, and the help of players such as "Hook" Dillon, Jim Jordan, and Bob Paxton. In his first season, the team won the Southern Conference title. Although they didn't in Carnevale's second year, they attended the NCAA championship again and reached the Championship game, losing to Oklahoma A&M. Carnevale left to coach at the Naval Academy.
Scott came to Carolina after a career as an extraordinary player and coach from the Midwest. Unfortunately for him, Everett Case came to NC State that same year. Although Carolina's teams did fairly well, they were no match for NC State's. Scott finally resigned during the summer of 1952.
The season before he came to North Carolina, McGuire was voted National Coach of the Year at St. John's. What was just as impressive to the Tarheel athletic department was that the St. John's squad had beat NC State the previous year at State. The first year McGuire's team went 17-10 and beat State. The next three seasons weren't spectacular, but McGuire kept recruiting from New York, and finally landed Lennie Rosenbluth, one of Carolina's greatest players. Rosenbluth led the 1957 team to an undefeated 33-0 season and a National Championship against all odds against Wilt Chamberlain and the Kansas Jayhawks in a three-overtime thriller. However, as the seasons wore on, McGuire's team was put on probation due to recruiting violations, McGuire complained that Carolina did not have an arena big enough or enough funds for the program, and McGuire's players frequently fought in games. Once his contract ran out, McGuire was not welcomed back and left for Philadelphia and Wilt Chamberlain.
McGuire's Assistant, Dean Smith took over after McGuire left. Smith had played at Kansas and beat St. Johns as a player. Smith was not outspoken like McGuire, but he would go on to be the all time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history
Smith had rough beginnings at Carolina, after losing four straight games in the 1965 season, the Tarheels recieved a rude welcome back to Woolen Gym. The fans had hung Coach Smith in effigy. Billy Cunningham, the Tarheel's star player, ripped the effigy down, and the fans would soon understand that they had made a mistake.
Coach Smith would not only become a winner for Carolina for 36 years as head coach, he would also become a legend for his coaching as well as innovations within the game. He would also become the mentor for many who would become coaches, such as Eddie Fogler and Roy Williams, pictured here with Coach Smith.
Although Coach Smith brought the Tarheels to the NCAA Tournament many times, there were those who thought that he could not win the big game. Smith ended that criticism in 1982 when he won the National Tournament against Georgetown. Here's Smith after that victory.
Smith reached the #1 mark in Winston-Salem against Colorado in the NCAA Tournament. During that time, he had not only compiled an astoninshing record, he had changed the game and the men who played it.
879 Total Victories (1)
96.6% Graduation Rate
65 NCAA Tournament Wins (1)
11 Trips to the Final Four (2)
23 Consecutive NCAA Appearances (1)
27 NCAA Appearances (1)
27 Consecutive 20 Win Seasons (1)
35 Consecutive Seasons above .500
.776 Winning Percentage (5)
One of Two People to have won NCAA Title as a player and coach
One of three people to win NIT, NCAA, and Olympic Medal.
As you can imagine, Bill Guthridge had quite an act to follow up. But if anyone was prepared to take the duties of Smith, it was Guthridge. Guthridge had been Assistant for Coach Smith since 1967, passing up many offers from other colleges. In his first season, Guthridge did fair, breaking records for first year coaches by going 34-4 and reaching the Final Four. It surely was a good start for Guthridge.