Adolph Rupp was the first to 876 career wins. Dean Smith was the first to 877 career wins.
Let me tell you a story. I was a junior in high school and spring break came along. This was the best time for me to go look at colleges. I must preface this story by filling in some information. My dad was a resident of North Carolina (even though we lived in Maryland), so I was considered in-state when it came to admission. There were four universities in North Carolina that I was interested in checking out. My dad decided that the best way to go would be east to west across the state. The first that I checked out was East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The second was UNC-Chapel Hill in...Chapel Hill, NC. The third was UNC-Greensboro in...Greensboro, NC. The final school was UNC-Charlotte in...Charlotte, NC. Greensboro was where my mom went to college. Chapel Hill was where my dad went to college...and that is the school that I rooted for growing up and still root for today. East Carolina was nice (and I later ended up applying and was accepted), but what I was really excited for was the trip to Chapel Hill. Oh, how I loved going to that campus.
There is a man and his family that went to the same church that I did in Maryland. This man used to be a professor at Chapel Hill, and because of this, he still knew some people there. One of the people that he knew was the secretary in the basketball office. Once I had taken my campus tour, I had an appointment to take a private tour of the Dean E. Smith Center (aka The Dean Dome). Let me say that again. I was an avid, die hard Tar Heel fan and I had the opportunity to take a private tour of the Dean Dome. I got to go into the men's locker room, go down on the court (but unfortunately not on the actual court) and got to walk around the basketball office. This is what made my day. Inside the basketball office, sitting on the table, were the three NCAA championship trophies from 1957, 1982, and 1993. As I walked back towards the coaches' offices, out popped one of the assistant coaches, who also happened to be a former player, Pat Sullivan. I got to talk to him for a bit, which was cool. I was then taken into Bill Guthridge's office (he was the head coach at the time, former assistant under Dean Smith for thirty years, and was not in his office). But nothing was as cool, jaw-dropping, and awe-inspiring as what happened next. I walked by an office and at a desk there was a man talking on the phone. It was none other than Dean Smith himself. It was unfortunate that he was on the phone, otherwise I would have been able to shake his hand and say hello. Also, I might have been able to remind him of this...
Dean, thank you for being there in your office that day. That moment of seeing you will forever be ingrained in my mind. Happy 80th Birthday today (2/28) and I hope you had a truly wonderful day.
I'm a Tar Heel born
I'm a Tar Heel bred
And when I die
I'm a Tar Heel dead.
So it's Rah, Rah, Car'lina-lina
Rah, Rah, Car'lina-lina
Rah, Rah, Car'lina-lina
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Source of fight song: http://tarheelblue.cstv.com/trads/unc-trads-songs.html