CHAPEL HILL: UNC's alma mater hasn't escaped Coach Smith - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

UNC's unmistakable alma mater hasn't escaped Coach Smith

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Coach Dean Smith cuts the nets at UNC (UNC Sports Information) Coach Dean Smith cuts the nets at UNC (UNC Sports Information)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

The University of North Carolina's alma mater is unmistakable to any Tar Heel fan, even iconic basketball coach Dean Smith, who has battled dementia for years.

Many close to Smith, even current coach Roy Williams, say he has a difficult time remembering them. But "Hark the Sound" apparently hasn't escaped him.

An ESPN.com article covering Smith's legacy and life after retirement says a friend visited him a year and a half ago to play songs on the guitar.

Nothing seemed to register with Smith until the friend played "Hark the Sound."

That's when Smith apparently stood up, put his hand over his heart and sang from memory.

Smith's wife, Linnea, told ESPN, "It was just pure joy. That uninhibited joy in the music."

She said, "It's one of those moments that you know there's more there, or momentarily there, than sometimes you're aware of."

Smith led the Tar Heels to 879 wins in his storied career, including two national championships.

Most recently he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service that went beyond the basketball court. Smith played a key role in helping integrate the Chapel Hill community.

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