May 4, 2007
AUBURN - More than 200 coaches from seven states attended the first day of the two-day Auburn Basketball Coaching Clinic to listen to Hall of Famers Dean Smith and Roy Williams from the University of North Carolina in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum Friday. Coaches from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee were represented.
Smith, who retired as college basketball's all-time winningest coach with 879 wins and is currently second, covered various offensive topics in his hour-long session. He allowed the coaches in attendance to ask questions on different offensive philosophies and then demonstrated his concepts on what was asked.
"Jeff is a good teacher," Smith said. "He always picked up things better than anybody on the team. He has won everywhere that he has been."
Williams, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Sept. 7, just finished his fourth season as head coach of North Carolina. Reaching 500 wins sooner than any other coach in history, Williams led the Tar Heels to the 2005 NCAA Championship and went to North Carolina shortly after leading the University of Kansas to the 2003 NCAA Championship.
During his hour-long session, Williams covered several defensive topics during the clinic, focusing on trapping defenses.
"Jeff is one of those youngsters when we recruited him that I thought that here is a kid who was born to be a coach," Williams said. "I really believed that the first time I saw him. You had a guy who was fundamentally sound, extremely competitive and was willing to make the sacrifices and do the things to help his team win. You had that feeling for him as a player. You just knew that when he finished playing that he was going to be a coach.
"I loved watching his teams and talking to him over the phone for years and years. I told Auburn that they were going to get a guy who is a basketball nut, a basketball junkie. If he were still playing, he would be a gym rat, and that he will do a great, great job."
The clinic, which began with a coaching session by Chattanooga head coach John Shulman on the "Chattanooga Defense," will continue Saturday as Auburn assistant coach Dave Lebo will discuss "Zone Offense Concepts" and "Attacking Zone Defense" from 9:30-10:45 am.
Montverde Academy coach Kevin Sutton will direct "Running a Successful High School Program" from 11-11:45 am while coach Jeff Lebo will discuss "Set Plays" from noon-1:15 pm to conclude the two-day clinic.
"It is an honor to have Coach Smith and Coach Williams in Auburn for our coaching clinic," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "Both are Hall of Fame coaches. They have both been a big influence on my career, playing and coaching."
Smith began his college basketball career as a player with Kansas, where he won a national championship in 1952. In 1961, at age 30, he became the head coach at North Carolina. After a losing season in 1961, he had 35 straight winning seasons, won more NCAA Tournament games than any coach in history, reached 11 NCAA Tournament Final Fours and won two NCAA Championships in 1982 and 1993 and coached 14 All-Americans, including Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Jeff Lebo.