"A prayer for Dean Smith" by Rob McLamb has become an Internet sensation. McLamb is a junior at N.C. State University and a staff writer for the school's daily newspaper. McLamb wrote the article about the 81-year-old Tar Heels coach, who has been experiencing intermittent problems with his memory, according to a Jan. 25, 2013 report by The Christian Post.
McLamb's tribute to the coach "A prayer for Dean Smith" reads, in part:
"When Smith is having one of his better moments, it would be wonderful if he could just feel a warm breeze of love — the type of feeling people get when they look into the eyes of someone they care for unconditionally and see the exact same expression staring back. It would be an appropriate way to show gratitude for someone who gave so much to others.
Let the warm regard from each person who has had his or her life improved by Smith be combined to form a sustained feeling.
Let that feeling gain momentum all over the Triangle and the state. Let it be created right here, right now in Wake County and pick up steam as it reaches the gothic buildings in western Durham that represent a different shade of blue."
Smith was born on Feb. 28, 1931. He will turn 82 next month. He announced his retirement on Oct. 9, 1997 after 36 years coaching at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2010, his family disclosed that he had been diagnosed with progressive neurocognitive disorder.
The original and complete text of "A prayer for Dean Smith" by Rob McLamb appeared on Technician Online on Jan. 23, 2013. Technician is the official student newspaper of N.C. State University. In just three days, the "prayer" has been shared on Facebook more than 3,000 times, and that number is growing. It is currently the most-read piece on the Technician Online Website.