Randy Neuman (right), the Huntington University Archivist, provided some additional information to a previous post about Coach Dean Smith’s connection with the UB church and Huntington University. Smith, who passed away on February 7, became one of the all-time winningest college basketball coaches during his years at the University of North Carolina.
Neuman says Dean Smith’s grandfather, Rev. Harry E. Smith, pastored at Chanute, Garnett, Haven, and other locations in the old Neosho Conference (Kansas area). Smith’s father was Alfred Dillon Smith; Neuman suggests that his middle name may have been in honor of Bishop William Dillon.
Alfred Smith and his brother, Cecil, attended Central/Huntington College and graduated from the Huntington College Academy–Alfred in 1917, Cecil in 1918. In 1918, Alfred and 12 other Central/Huntington alumni joined the US Army and were stationed at Camp Selby in Mississippi. Alfred then returned to Kansas, receiving a teaching degree and coaching at the high school level.
Randy writes, “I would not be surprised if Dean actually attended UB churches as a child, since his parents lived for a while in Chanute, Kansas.”