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UNC Students Respect Coach's Decision; Look to the Future

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UNC students and fans watched as their coach announced his retirement
CHAPEL HILL — For many people, the shock is just starting to set in.For the first time since 1958, Dean Smith won't be pacing along the sidelinesduring Tar Heel basketball games.

In the building that bears his name, Coach Smith today called it a career.The 66-year-old coach told a packed house he always promised to walk awaywhen he lost the thrill he feels his team requires.

In an incredible show of support and tribute, many of Dean Smith's formerplayers were on hand for his announcement.But it's the students who never actually met Coach Smith who are reelingfrom that announcement.

A lot of students were sad and disappointed to learn their coach would bestepping down.But after watching Dean Smith speak, they were touched. Now, students like Jason Pittman just want to wish him well.

That respect turned tears into smiles and wringing hands into clappinghands as Erika Hamilton and her fellow students pay tribute to the man they call "Dean."

But, as life returned to normal on Franklin Street, students like Laterrian Wallaceturned optimistic about the future of Carolina basketball.

Students say they have a tremendous amount ofrespect for Dean Smith. They respect his decision, but he will bemissed... and never forgotten.

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