The world of sports is mourning the passing of Dean Smith, who died February 7, 2015 at the age of 83. Smith was called a “coaching legend” by the Basketball Hall of Fame after an illustrious career that included 36 years as the North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball coach. Though he is best known for his days coaching the Tar Heels, Smith grew up in Kansas and attended the University of Kansas, playing basketball and eventually coaching as an assistant. Summit Workshops’ Founder Rich Clarkson had the rare priviledge of traveling with the team as a photographer while attending the University of Kansas, where he occasionally roomed with none other than Dean Smith. Clarkson also had the rare priviledge of following and photographing Smith’s career from player to head coach.
Sports Illustrated has recently released their Dean Smith Special Tribute Issue, and it includes several of Rich Clarkson’s favorite images from throughout Smith’s career. Thank you to Sports Illustrated and Director of Photography Brad Smith for creating a truly memorable issue and allowing us to share an excerpt from it.