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FILE - In this March 21, 1986 file photo, North Carolina coach Dean Smith talks to player Jeff Lebo on the sidelines during NCAA West Regional semifinal basketball game in Dallas, Texas.  Lebo, now head coach at East Carolina, heads Chapel Hill on Saturday to play the No. 21 Tar Heels, while Lebo is facing his alma mater for the second time in 15 seasons as a head coach. (AP Photo/Richard Carson, File)
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Richard Carson

FILE - In this March 21, 1986 file photo, North Carolina coach Dean Smith talks to player Jeff Lebo on the sidelines during NCAA West Regional semifinal basketball game in Dallas, Texas. Lebo, now head coach at East Carolina, heads Chapel Hill on Saturday to play the No. 21 Tar Heels, while Lebo is facing his alma mater for the second time in 15 seasons as a head coach. (AP Photo/Richard Carson, File)

Castleberry: Lebo remembers mentor

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When Jeff Lebo saw that Roy Williams was calling, he knew the North Carolina coach was not ringing him up to deliver good news.

After answering the phone early Sunday morning, Lebo listened as Williams told him that Dean Smith, the Tar Heels’ Hall of Fame basketball coach, had died on Saturday night at age 83.


Hearing that Smith passed away was not a surprise to those, like Lebo and many others in the UNC family, who had known about Smith’s deteriorating health in recent years. That knowledge didn’t do much to cushion the blow of learning the legendary coach, civil rights pioneer and father figure to hundreds of former Heels had taken his final breath.

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NCAA

Bless your heart
Bless your heart