WEEKLY SUMMER ISSUE
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Guthridge Joins Smith in Retirement
Bill Guthridge sat next to Dean
Smith on the North Carolina bench for
30 years. When Smith retired in
October of 1997, Guthridge said it had
always been his goal to go out alongside
But Guthridge said he wasn’t ready
to leave then, and he inherited Smith’s
job as head coach.
So it was only fitting that Smith, who
hired Guthridge as an assistant in 1967,
was at Guthridge’s side Friday when he
announced his retirement after three
years at the helm of the North Carolina
Guthridge, like his predecessor and
good friend, said the job was getting too
The rigors of a full season of games
and practices combined with recruiting
trips, coaching clinics and speaking
engagements had finally worn the 62-
year-old coach down.
“I don’t know that there was anything
not enjoyable about it, just the accumu
lation of the whole thing,” said
Guthridge, who a few weeks ago said he
would fulfill the remaining two years on
his contract, if not more. “I really
thought I’d coach six or seven more
years. I’ve always felt if I couldn’t get my
batteries recharged, it was time to quit.”
So Guthridge walked away from his
three-year stint as UNC’s head coach.
He exited with an 80-28 career
record, which ties him with former N.C.
State coach Everett Case for the most
victories by an NCAA coach in his first
He walked away having guided two
of his three teams to the Final Four.
Ohio State’s Fred Taylor is the only
other man to accomplish that feat.
“Certainly, what a marvelous run of
three years,” Smith said. “I don’t think
it will ever be duplicated.”
Much like Smith did three years
before, Guthridge left when he was
ready. Guthridge had time left on his
contract and said he felt comfortable that
he could coach as long as he wanted.
He said his health was not a factor in
his decision, much to the delight of a
few of his friends, who called fearing
that an illness had ended his time on the
bench. Much to the contrary, Guthridge
remains in good condition and still runs
three miles a day.
And just like Smith’s retirement,
Guthridge’s announcement was at first
viewed with disbelief by the North
Carolina basketball “family,” which
includes current and former players and
The coach, who reached his final
decision late at night on June 28, was
too emotional to tell his players last
Thursday at a 5 p.m. meeting. Instead,
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A spectator enjoys the fireworks display over Kenan Stadium Tuesday
night as part ot tne July 4 festivities for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.
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Bill Guthridge announced his retirement as the North Carolina men's basketball coach Friday at a press
conference in the Bowles room of the Smith Center. He finished with an 80-28 record in his three seasons.
he handed each of them copies of a
“It was definitely a shock,” junior for
ward Brian Bersticker said. “People just
kind of cleared out of the meeting after
“Nobody really got a chance to talk
about it, and nobody really wanted to
talk about it at that time,” he said. “He
always told us the day he couldn’t give
100 percent, he would leave. He expects
100 percent out of us, and I guess it’s
kind of mutual that
we would expect
that out of him.
And if he can’t do
that, we respect
remember him not
only as a good
coach, but also as a
“I’ll really miss this
next year’s team ... But
I think it’s time to turn
it over to somebody else”
Former UNC basketabll coach
“He stuck by us through the season
and off-court problems,” junior forward
Jason Capel said. “He’s someone you
could always talk to. He’s a very caring,
genuine person who is good-hearted.
“That’s his biggest quality, and he
really cares about us much more than as
athletes, but as people as well.”
Guthridge’s players always held him
Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.
Thursday, July 6, 2000
Volume 108, Issue 52
in high esteem. For proof of that loyalty,
one only had to glance around the room
at the press conference. Aside from the
five current players on hand, several for
mer Tar Heels were in attendance,
including Hubert Davis, Warren Martin,
Eric Montross and Shammond Williams.
“He did a fantastic job in every cate
gory you could name,” said Montross, a
UNC center from 1990-94 who now
plays for the Detroit Pistons. “His abili
ty with players in a one-on-one basis, his
ability to run the
his ability to devel
op players and
“I find it hard to
believe that there’s
anyone else who
could do a better
meant to North
Carolina cannot be based solely on
numbers and statistics, wins and losses.
His merits as a head coach were open
ly questioned from the beginning simply
because he wasn’t Dean Smith. But
Guthridge never buckled under the pres
sure that came with following a legend. He
always conducted himself with the utmost
class and treated others with respect
New Study Finds Fireworks Costly
Fireworks-related injuries and fires
cost North Carolina and its residents
nearly $500,000 a year, according to a
University study released Friday.
The study found that in each of five
of the past six years, fireworks were
responsible for $223,500 in property
damage, $92,000 in forest damage and
$77,000 in firefighting costs. They also
resulted in medical expenses of more
Ernest Grant, outreach clinician at
the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center at UNC
Hospitals, said many of the injuries
treated were functional.
“A lot of the injuries we see at the
burn centers here relate to the eyes, face
or the hands,” he said. “Asa result of
their being injured, sometimes (people)
are permanently disfigured.”
Researchers found 114 serious
injuries to eyes, faces, and hands over
the five-year study.
Fireworks also cause nearly S2O mil
lion dollars damage a year nationally.
Researchers said total costs were
probably significantly higher, but they
could not get information from medical
There were plenty who criticized his
hiring in 1997. People called for a “big
name” coach, not Smith’s understudy.
Guthridge silenced many of those
critics with a 34-4 record in his rookie
season, which earned him consensus
national coach of the year honors. But
he still wasn’t Dean Smith, and the crit
ics persisted. •
They began to clamor again when
Weber State bounced the Tar Heels out
of the 1999 NCAA tournament in the
first round. They got even louder this
past season when North Carolina lost to
Florida State on Jan. 22, and the Tar
Heels fell out of the top-25 poll for the
first time since 1989.
The team lost 14 games, the most
since the 1951-52 squad finished 12-15.
But Guthridge and his Tar Heels would
persevere. He handled the losses with
dignity, never once blaming a player or
His team rewarded him with anoth
er Final Four trip, the 14th of his career,
including one as a player and 11 as
“We did it for him,” junior guard
Ronald Curry said of the team’s effort and
gift to its coach. “He was like the father of
the family who bonded us together.”
See GUTHRIDGE, Page 2
officials. They also had difficulty col
lecting and assessing data on the costs of
work loss, fire inspections, regulation of
storage facilities and reforestation.
The study also showed that much of
the money spent on fireworks in North
Carolina actually goes out of state, con
tradicting the N.C. General Assembly’s
justification for legalizing certain types
of fireworks in 1993.
The Assembly legalized the sale of
sparklers, explosive caps for toy guns,
smoke devices, trick noisemakers and
other fireworks in order to keep in
North Carolina money that usually was
spent in South Carolina and Virginia.
Stephen Marshall, research assistant
professor of epidemiology at the School
of Public Health and a researcher for the
study, said a few informal merchants
made most of the money while the state
bore the costs.
“A small number of distributors,
some of them essentially fly-by-night,
are making considerable sums of money
selling fireworks at this time of year,” he
said. “Unfortunately, the state of North
Carolina is bearing a very significant
Researchers gathered information
from state hospital emergency rooms,
Williams to Decide
His Future by Friday
Roy Williams has a tough choice to
make. It’s like a father choosing between
his children and his own dad.
Williams, who has been the head
coach at Kansas since 1988, must decide
between staying on with the program
he’s built and the players he recruited or
taking over for the retired Bill Guthridge
at North Carolina, his alma matter and
a place where he was an assistant to
Dean Smith for 10 years.
Now, Smith, the teacher, has asked
Williams, the student, to become the
head coach at North Carolina. Can
Williams say no to Smith?
“It would be hard,” Williams said at a
press conference in Lawrence, Kan., last
Friday. “But it would be harder to say no
to my players.”
The Associated Press reported Friday
that Williams had accepted the job in
the wake of Guthridge’s retirement. But
those reports were erroneous and only
served to frustrate the administrations at
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PHOTO COURTESY HUGH MORTON
Roy Williams, left, talks with Dean Smith, center, and Bill Guthridge at
the 1990 Final Four. Williams and Kansas defeated UNC in the game.
fire departments, county fire marshals
and forest rangers. Grant also asked ven -
dors at roadside fireworks stands in
Orange, Durham and Wake counties
about daily sales totals and where they
Grant said the researchers’ goal was
to examine the impact of legalizing fire
works in North Carolina.
The study did find, however, that ille
gal fireworks were still common.
Hospital emergency rooms across the
nation treated more than 8,500 people
for fireworks-related injuries in 1998,
according to the Consumer Product
Grant said UNC Hospitals did not
treat anyone for fireworks-related
injuries stemming from Tuesday’s cele
Large, community-sponsored fire
works displays put on by professionals
are more sensible than amateur fire
works displays, Marshall said.
He said, “That means there will be
fewer and fewer kids running around in
the backyard throwing these things at on
The University Editor can be reached
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
© 2000 DTH Publishing Corp.
All rights reserved.
the leading candi
date for the job
and faces a tough
He and his fam
ily went to their
beach house in
to celebrate the
Fourth of July hol
iday, as they do
each year, but he
is the leading
candidate to take
over for the retired
cut his vacation short to meet with UNC
officials in Chapel Hill earlier this week.
He said he will make an announcement
on or before Friday.
Williams said his decision would not
be based on money, nor would he try to
play the two sides against one another.
“It’s not an analytic process,” he said.
See WILLIAMS, Page 2
Who's the Mann?
at UNC has earned him the respect of
both colleagues and students alike. To
see where he’s been and where he’s
going, read our profile. See Page 4.
Fight for Freedom
Mel Gibson stars in the new epic “The
Patriot," set during the Revolutionary
War. The film also
stars the fresh
Gibson's eldest son. Check out our
complete review to ensure this movie
is not a bomb. See Page 7.
No Place Like Home?
Chris Wristen, a columnist with the
University Daily Kansan, ponders the
possible departure of Jayhawks head
coach Roy Williams. See Page 8.