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  Bill Guthridge  
 
    • Was an assistant coach for fellow Kansas Sports Hall of Famers Tex Winter and Dean Smith
    • Instrumental in recruiting Michael Jordan to play at the University of North Carolina
    • Involved in more Final Fours (14) as a player and coach than anyone in history
     
         
    Guthridge, Bill
    Inducted 2005

    Born: July 27, 1937 – Parsons, Kansas

    Deceased: May 12, 2015 - Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    Graduated: Parsons High School, 1955; Kansas State University, 1960; MS – Kansas State University

    Overview

    The man credited with uncovering, recruiting, and signing possibly the greatest basketball player of all-time, William Wallace Guthridge of Parsons was an assistant coach for two of the most successful head coaches in college basketball history, Tex Winter and Dean Smith.   Guthridge was born and raised in the southeast Kansas community of Parsons, where he was a three-sport star at Parsons High School and played basketball for the legendary Harold Johnson.

    Guthridge’s K-State Career

    Guthridge attended Kansas State where he played three seasons for head coach Tex Winter as the Wildcats won three conference championships.  After two seasons as a high school coach, Guthridge worked as Winter’s assistant at Kansas State from 1962-67.

    Coaching Highlights

    Guthridge was then hired as an assistant coach at North Carolina and spent the next three decades working for Kansas native Dean Smith.  He was named an assistant coach on the 1976 U.S. Olympic team.  One of the players he recruited in 1980 was a little-known guard from Wilmington, N.C., named Michael Jordan.  Guthridge was named Smith’s successor in 1997 and was the Tar Heels’ head coach for three seasons, posting an 80-28 record and reaching the Final Four two times.  He was just the second person in history to lead his team to a pair of Final Four berths in his first three seasons as a head coach.  Guthridge was involved in more Final Fours than anyone in history – one as a player at K-State, one as an assistant at KSU; 10 as an assistant at North Carolina and two as the head coach at UNC.