Dean Smith remembers players in will

UNC's Dean Smith Leaves $200 To Players In Will (1:06)

Former North Carolina player Brad Daugherty reflects on the letter he received from former coach Dean Smith's trust, which included $200 "for dinner." (1:06)

Dean Smith got a chance to thank his players one last time.

The former North Carolina coach, who died last month at 83, directed his trust in his will to give $200 to every letter winner who played for him during his 36 seasons as head coach at the school.

"We never expected anything like this," said Jeb Barlow, who lettered at UNC from 1980-1982. "But it doesn't surprise me that this was done."

The trustee of Smith's trust, Tim Breedlove, told ESPN.com that the $200 checks were sent out on Monday to about 180 letter winners.

"This was the kind of man that he was," Breedlove said. "It's one more example of his thoughtfulness."

The letter addressed to Dante Calabria, who played on Smith's 1993 national title team, was circulated on social media Thursday. Smith's message was to "enjoy a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith."

Said Serge Zwikker, who played for Smith from 1993-1997: "My wife opened the letter and handed it to me. At first I didn't know what it was, but when it hit me, it put a tear in my eye. Even after he passed, he was still all about his players."

Buzz Peterson, a roommate of Michael Jordan's when they played for Smith at UNC, also was awed by the gesture.

"I saw the check, and was like, 'What?'" Peterson said. "Then I started reading the letter, and I said, 'Wait now, you've got to be kidding me. This is unbelievable that he would do this for us.'"

Zwikker said that part of him doesn't like the fact that news about Smith's gesture has gone public.

"It's just not the way he would have wanted it," Zwikker said. "I know he would have preferred to keep it quiet."

Zwikker said the $200 check is unlike any other money he has received.

"I don't think I can cash this," he said. "If anything, I will donate it to a good cause."

Smith went 879-254 in his years at North Carolina, the only school at which he ever coached. The Tar Heels won the national title in 1982 and 1993.

Information from ESPN's Marty Smith was used in this report.