Rank ‘Em: UNC Basketball’s Coaches Since 1944

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#4 – Bill Guthridge – Record: 80-28 .741 (0 National Championships, 1997-2000)

If you wanted to look up loyalty in the dictionary there would be a good chance you’d see a picture of Bill Guthridge. North Carolina was incredibly lucky that Guthridge was as loyal to the program as he was during his coaching career. He served as an assistant for 30 years to Dean Smith before he was called

on to take control. Prior to UNC he had a brief run at the University of Kansas as an assistant from 1962-1967. He was more than ready to step in when Coach Smith decided to retire from coaching prior to the 1997-98 season. The program was lucky to have an experienced coach that had a rapport with the players in their back pocket.

At 60 years young, Guthridge was able to step in and keep the feel of the program the same for the players remaining on the team. They also had massive success during his three seasons. The team went 80-28, reached two final fours, and he was the national coach of the year in 1998 during his run. In three seasons as a head coach, he accomplished more than some coaches will in a lifetime. To me that can be summed up simply: location, location, location. Dean Smith had to have a great amount of respect and trust for him to keep him as an assistant for all those years. To step away from coaching that close to the start of the season he must have felt good about the state of the program in Coach Guthridge’s hands.