Honoring Dean Smith

Read about this whole thing in pixelated print!


Hello Duke friends! We’ve actually made it happen. You can buy a #Duke4Dean shirt at this link:
You can read below for the entire story.

Scroll to the bottom for the most recent updates, including news coverage and details on where to get the shirts on gameday.

Original Post: February 9, 2 p.m. EST

I was a Duke Blue Devil mascot for three years during the mid-2000s. I love my school and supporting the many great athletic teams we have at Duke.

But I also truly admire the person and coach Dean Smith was. He was a great competitor and a morally courageous man, and is certainly worthy of having his memory honored.

I had an idea this morning for a way we, as Duke fans, can show our support to the grieving Carolina community. During the Duke-Carolina game at Cameron, as many fans as possible should have a special t-shirt printed (with, presumably, the permission of the University).

On a Duke Blue background, in place of the white block DUKE lettering should be printed DEAN. These will look like the "traditional" fan t-shirts, but will carry our respect for one of our rival's greatest heroes.

In case this blogging platform doesn't support inline images, here is a link to the original "traditional" t-shirt design. http://www.shopdukestores.duke.edu/webitemimages/106/10502.jpg
Now, I need your help. Spread the word. Tell the line monitors. Talk to Duke Stores. Call President Brodhead. I can only supply the idea -- my schedule doesn't really permit me the time to engineer this effort!

I really think it would be a kind gesture on our part to honor the legacy of a great man, Dean Smith.

UPDATE: February 10, 7 a.m. EST

It seems that thousands of people have checked out this site! Wow! Thanks, everyone. I really hope we can make this happen.

Check out this article from Duke Basketball Report:
"I hope Duke will do something to honor Smith next week when the Tar Heels come to Cameron."

Also, Twitter user @charlesdroos provides this mock-up:
If the image isn’t visible, here’s a link: http://imgur.com/a/8x6k8

Let’s make this happen! #Duke4Dean

UPDATE: February 11, 7 a.m EST

If anyone is actually undertaking this, here is some information from UNC on where to make donations in Coach Smith’s memory:

"The family has said that in lieu of flowers, individuals should feel free to make a memorial contribution to one of the following organizations:

  • The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, based in Chapel Hill. The organization lives out Smith’s values of caring for the poor and those in need. For more information, contact The IFC.
  • The Dean E. Smith Opening Doors Fund will support talented undergraduate students who need significant financial assistance to attend Carolina. It will also provide financial support to graduate students in education and social work — two fields close to Smith’s heart. For more information on the fund, contact UNC Development.
  • Individuals may also give to the charity of their choice to honor Coach Smith and the values he exemplified."
via http://www.unc.edu/spotlight/unc-chapel-hill-celebrate-life-dean-smith-feb-22-smith-center/

There are too many instances of folks contacting me or sharing this idea to mention individually, but many thanks to all of you for supporting this idea. I really hope we can make this happen.

UPDATE: February 12, 9 a.m. EST

Yesterday I received a few more direct inquiries from folks who may be interested in making shirts, but only one seems to have any affiliation with Duke. See @DukePortland.

Also, it was very exciting to be featured on WRAL Sports Fan: Blue Devil starts ‘Duke For Dean’ tribute. Many thanks to Joe Ovies for reaching out.

Because I no longer have any shame, I’ll quote myself from the story to repeat how I feel about this:

"I don't have any interest in directing, controlling, or approving of what anyone does with my idea…. My only interest is that a fitting and respectful tribute to Coach Smith and his legacy is made at Duke."

There you have it. It’s really up to folks at Duke, I think, to figure out if they want to make this happen in any way.

UPDATE: February 17, 9 a.m. EST

The #Duke4Dean idea has been generating a lot of media attention lately, and I’m glad to share some. Luke DeCock of the News & Observer wrote about my collaboration with Thrill City to get this tribute into the tangible realm.

I’m happy for the attention — we’ve managed to raise a sizable sum for the local organization Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, and even if you don’t want to get a t-shirt, consider making a donation. They do great work in our community.

Finally, if you’ve purchased a t-shirt and you’ve designated local pickup, please come to one of two locations on Wednesday: Bull City Craft in Durham (across from the Q-Shack and NanaTaco), where we will be from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., or from the Thrill City location in Chapel Hill (hours TBD).

We know roughly how many orders we’ve received, but have no idea if *anyone* will actually be wearing one of these t-shirts during the game. Tweet or post to Facebook with the #Duke4Dean hashtag if you’ll be sporting one of these in Cameron.

UPDATE: February 22, 11:30 a.m. EST

We did it! Thumbs up!