ESPN25: Smith is top coach

ESPN released its list of the best sports coaches of the last 25 years on Tuesday as part of its cable television network's 25th anniversary.

ESPN25's Expert Panel ranked former University of North Carolina men's basketball coach Dean Smith at the top of the list. Former Tar Heel basketball player and assistant coach Larry Brown, currently the head coach of the NBA's Detroit Pistons and the 2004 United States Olympic Team, was on the list at No. 22. Longtime Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance was at No. 24.

The top five was No. 1 Smith, No. 2 Scott Bowman (NHL), No. 3 Mike Krzyzewski (Duke men's basketball), No. 4 Phil Jackson (NBA) and No. 5 Pat Summit (Tennessee women's basketball). The rest of the top 10 was No. 6 Bill Walsh (NFL), No. 7 Don Shula (NFL), No. 8 Joe Paterno (Penn State football), No. 9 Eddie Robinson (Grambling football) and No. 10 Pat Riley (NBA).

Smith has more wins than any other Division I coach in NCAA men's basketball history with 879. He led Carolina to 11 Final Fours and two national championships (1982 and 1993) and 13 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament titles in 36 seasons. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

Brown is the only coach in history to win both NBA (Detroit Pistons, 2004) and NCAA (University of Kansas, 1988) championships. He is the head coach of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, currently training for next month's Games in Athens, Greece. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Dorrance has led the Tar Heel women's soccer progarm to 18 national championships, including 17 NCAA Tournament titles. Carolina has won 18 of the 23 national championships in collegiate women's soccer history and Dorrance is the winningest coach in women's soccer history.

ESPN also released a list of coaches, as ranked by fans visiting ESPN.com. In that list, Smith was ranked No. 2, Brown was No. 10 and Dorrance was No. 22. The fan list was topped by Krzyzewski, followed by Smith at No. 2, Jackson at No. 3, Walsh at No. 4 and Tom Osborne (Nebraska football) at No. 5.


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