Bill Guthridge, longtime North Carolina basketball coach who spent 30 years as an assistant to Dean Smith before leading the Tar Heels to the Final Four in two of his three seasons as head coach, died Tuesday night. He was 77.
Guthridge, who had been in declining health in recent years, was surrounded by his family at the time of his death. Guthridge's passing comes a little more than three months after Smith died in early February after suffering for years from a neurological disorder that robbed him of his memories.
Guthridge suffered a similarly cruel fate during the final year of his life. During an interview in February his wife, Leesie, said Guthridge had been suffering from vascular dementia — a condition that is a result of reduced blood supply to the brain.
"Bill's not real verbal anymore," Leesie, who had been married to her husband for 42 years, said then. "I have a hard time, and he has a hard time. He sometimes knows exactly what he wants to say, but he can't come up with the words."
Guthridge arrived for the 1967-68 season, and during his years as an assistant to Smith, the Tar Heels went to the Final Four 10 times and won the national championship in 1982 and 1993.
During his 33 years at UNC, Guthridge was a part of 867 victories. He was on the bench for 73 NCAA tournament victories — including two at Kansas State — and that's more than any coach in history.
... Marcquise Reed, who averaged 15.1 points in his freshman season and helped Robert Morris to the NCAA tournament last season, transferred to Clemson.
Barkley agrees to new TNT deal
Charles Barkley won't be gone fishin' just yet. After previously suggesting he might leave TNT at the end of his current contract, the Hall of Fame forward agreed to a multiyear extension to remain as a studio analyst for "Inside the NBA."
The network announced that all of the show's stars had received new deals, so Barkley will keep trading barbs with fellow commentators Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal and host Ernie Johnson.
Barkley is in his 16th year on "Inside the NBA," where his big mouth, segments such as "Gone Fishin'," and chemistry with Smith have made for a wildly successful run. O'Neal joined them in 2011.
around the horn
College football: Florida is down to two scholarship quarterbacks with the departure of Skyler Mornhinweg to Columbia University. ... Oklahoma running back Keith Ford, who was the team's leading rusher before breaking his leg and missing five games and was suspended from the team for academic issues in March, is transferring. ... Michigan associate athletic director for football Jim Minick was suspended indefinitely, four days after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Auto racing: Kyle Busch is eligible to compete for the NASCAR championship despite missing the first 11 races this season because he was injured. NASCAR announced it has granted Busch a waiver that would allow the Joe Gibbs Racing star to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Track: The entire U.S. 400-meter men's sprint relay team was stripped of its silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics as a result of Tyson Gay's doping case.
NFL: The Cardinals signed free agent inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton to a one-year contract. The 5-11, 245-pound Sharpton has played five seasons in the NFL, the first four with the Texans and last year with the Bears. He has appeared in 47 games, 21 as a starter.
WNBA: Isiah Thomas filed paperwork for partial ownership of the New York Liberty. Thomas needs approval from the league's board of governors for his ownership application to go through. Thomas was named president of the Liberty last week.