If one were to create a Mount Rushmore for college basketball, the bust of one Dean Smith would without question appear. Collectors holding redemption for his 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition for Smith - should begin receiving their autographed cards soon.
"Smith battled some health issues late last year and it took him a little longer than he expected to finish all the signatures," Marketing/PR Director Scott Prusha said. "He wanted to fulfill those redemptions for collectors and worked hard to get them done - we appreciate all those that have hung in there while we worked hard to complete the signing."
Donruss reports that Smith's signatures have arrived in-house and the production process is underway to fulfill those redemptions.
When he retired after 37 seasons at the helm of the North Carolina program, no coach in college basketball history had won more games than his 879. And while Bobby Knight eventually surpassed him, Smith still ranks second. Smith's incredible run was highlighted by a pair of national championships, the Michael Jordan-led Tar Heels of 1982 and 1993.
A four-time National Coach of the Year, Smith was inducted into the Basketball of Fame in 1983 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He also led the 1976 United States Olympic team to the gold medal. Among the most-respected figures in basketball history, Smith graduated more than 96 percent of his players at UNC while guiding the Heels to 11 Final Four appearances.