Former North Carolina head coach Bill Guthridge dead at 77

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Former North Carolina head coach Bill Guthridge died on Tuesday night, the UNC athletic department has confirmed.

Guthridge was 77 years old.

A native of Kansas, Guthridge played his college ball at Kansas State in the late ’50s before becoming an assistant coach at the school. In 1967, he was hired by Dean Smith as an assistant with the Tar Heels, spending 30 years on Smith’s staff.

After Smith abruptly retired in 1997, two months before the start of the season, Guthridge took over and promptly led a team headlined by Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter to the 1998 Final Four, winning National Coach of the Year in the process. Guthridge also led the Tar Geels to the 2000 Final Four before retiring. He was replaced by Matt Doherty.

Smith passed away in February.