ESPN is reporting that former North Carolina head basketball coach, Dean Smith, will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom award later in the year.
According to the White House, the award goes to an individual “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” The award is the highest for a civilian in the Country.
Smith was instrumental and outspoken in advocating for civil rights among other social issues during his tenure as Head Coach at Carolina. He recruited Charlie Scott, the first African-American Scholarship athlete in the University's history. Smith will join basketball coaches Pat Summitt and John Wooden who have also received the Medal of Freedom. Only 21 others from the Sports World have been awarded the honor.