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Phil Ford ’78, Carolina’s all-time leading scorer and an assistant basketball coach for 12 seasons, has join the NBA champion Detroit Pistons as an assistant coach. He will work for another alumnus of Dean Smith’s program, Coach Larry Brown ’63.
Ford has spent the past four years as a vice president in the Rams Club, the nonprofit organization that provides grant-in-aids for UNC athletics. Ford played at UNC from 1974 to ’78, was NBA Rookie of the Year in 1979 and was an assistant coach for the Tar Heels under Smith and Bill Guthridge from 1988-2000.
He won the Wooden Award as a senior in 1978 and was a first-team All-America three times. He was the ACC Player of the Year in 1977 and 1978. In 2002, Ford was named one of the 10 best male athletes and one of the 50 greatest men’s basketball players in ACC history.
Former UNC players and coaches Dave Hanners ’76 and Pat Sullivan ’95 also are on the Detroit staff.
“Larry is excited for Phil, and I know Phil shares that excitement,” Smith said. “He’s excited about getting back to coaching. He does it well, and he’s missed it these last four years. It’s a perfect marriage.”