Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Coach Guthridge Cooks Out

 Coach Guthridge Cooks Out

     One of the most anticipated events for student managers working at Dean Smith's Carolina Basketball School in the 1970s and 80s was the “managers only” steak dinner on the last day of camp, which always fell on a Friday.

     In appreciation for our work at camp, Coach Smith and Coach Guthridge graciously treated the managers to a steak dinner at one of Chapel Hill’s finest restaurants at the time, Slug’s at the Pines.

     As soon as Coach Guthridge checked out the last camper and Greg “Chi Chi” Miles handed out the last blue and white camp basketball, we made plans to tie up loose ends around Granville Towers, get a quick shower, and head out for a thick, juicy steak with all the trimmings.

     During the summer of 1986, the last day of camp happened to fall on Friday, July 4. Unfortunately, this meant that none of the area’s nicest steakhouses would be open for business. Never one to be daunted by a challenge, Coach Guthridge came up with the ultimate “Plan B” – he would purchase and grill steaks for each of the managers at his home in Chapel Hill.

     Are you kidding me?! One of the most respected basketball coaches in the land cooking up steaks for his student managers after he’d spent the last three weeks overseeing a myriad of details at one of the most high-profile basketball camps in the country. Unheard of!

     Coach Guthridge and his wife, Leesie, made us all feel right at home, and every detail of the steak dinner was perfect. Coach Guthridge proved to be quite a grill master and his willingness to serve each of the student managers with a heartfelt appreciation for the work we’d done spoke volumes about the kind of person he was. It was a meal I’ll never forget prepared by a man whose imprint I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.

- Lindsay Reed, Class of 1981