The Greatest Dean Smith Quotes to Inspire You

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison04/19/22


Dean Smith took over the North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball program while it was under probation and the previous coach, Frank McGuire, had been forced to resign. Initially, it was a difficult transition for the Tar Heels program. However, by the 1966-67 season, Dean Smith had found a formula for success at North Carolina, going to three straight Final Fours. In the 1981-82 season, Smith finally got over the hump and won his first of two National Championships.

Dean Smith was a huge proponent of desegregation, recruiting North Carolina’s black scholarship player, Charlie Scott. Few coaches were as beloved by their players and community, and upon his death, Dean Smith left each of his former players a $200 check. The message that came with those checks read, “Enjoy a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith.”

Beloved and highly quotable, here are the best quotes from North Carolina’s Dean Smith:

10 Best Quotes From Dean Smith

  1. “Good people are happy when something good happens to someone else.”
  2. “You should never be proud of doing the right thing. You should just do it.”
  3. “I always mean what I say, but I don’t always say what I’m thinking.”
  4. “There is a point in every contest when sitting on the sidelines is not an option.”
  5. “I think the real free person in society is one that’s disciplined. It’s the one that can choose; that is the free one.”
  6. “Given the fact that we are in a capitalist society, we still do not want to overlook not only what a corporation produces and its profitability but also how it impacts the environment, touches human life and whether it protects or undermines the dignity of the human person.”
  7. “I do believe in praising that which deserves to be praised.”
  8. “Our teachers at the public school level are the most underpaid for the importance of their job in America.”
  9. “Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat.”
  10. “As soon as you try to describe a close friendship, it loses something.”

Inspirational Quotes From Smith

  • “What do do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.”
  • “There is a lot of basketball beyond our control, but a player should never let anyone try harder than he does.”
  • “A lion never roars after a kill.”
  • “The truly free person in society is a disciplined person.”

Leadership Quotes From Dean Smith

  • “A leader’s job is to develop committed followers. Bad leaders destroy their followers’ sense of commitment.”
  • “If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you’re going to have problems. You’ll be dead a lot.”
  • “I wasn’t as critical during games as I was at practice. Players needed confidence during games more than criticism.”
  • “The coach’s job is to be part servant in helping each player reach his goals within the team concept.”

Funny Quotes From Smith

  • “Basketball is a team game. But that doesn’t mean all five players should have the same amount of shots.”
  • “I know a lawyer who’d love to retire and be an assistant coach. I mean, it’s fun.”
  • “The best way to build team chemistry is the way Rupp used to substitute, when they fouled out.”
  • “I only use statistics to reinforce what I already think, or if it’s something unusual.”

Team Attitude Quotes From Dean Smith

  • “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.”
  • “Play hard. Play smart. Play together.”
  • “Basketball, more than any other sport, is a team game…about the thousands of small, unselfish acts, the sacrifices on the part of the players that result in team building.”
  • “Always have your players go and pick-up the guy who draws the charge.”
  • “You should just do the right thing.”

Success Quotes From Dean Smith

  • “I just think we shouldn’t get into counting coaches’ records. I’ve never been for that… but I know that’s just American society.”
  • “If you do what we ask you to do, the victories will belong to you, and the losses to me.”
  • “I would never recruit a player who yells at his teammates, disrespected his high school coach, or scores 33 points a game and his team goes 10-10.”