Catching Up With: Phil Ford

Phil Ford misses the practices. Teaching players. Inspiring players. Watching them get better.

That’s why the former North Carolina All-America — fired alongside the rest of the Charlotte Bobcats’ coaching staff more than a year ago — can sometimes be found at the Smith Center these days, watching his alma mater prepare for its next game.

“I just love to watch Coach [Roy] Williams practice,’’ Ford, the second-leading scorer in UNC history, said in an interview this week. “Its been great, for me, just to be able to be near the game … and in a place I love.”

Ford, who starred at UNC from 1974-78 (where he was maestro of the Four Corners offense), and was also an assistant coach for the Tar Heels from 1988-2000, moved to Raleigh after serving as a Bobcats assistant coach for more than three seasons.

He stays busy on the speaking circuit, is involved in vitamin sales and is developing the Phil Ford Foundation, with which he wants to help fight childhood obesity.

“I had a basketball camp last fall, and there was a kid there that was really overweight, and I got really close to him … and after talking to people and doing a lot of research, I just think that’s a humongous problem in our country today,’’ he said. “And I think helping find a solution is the right thing to do.”

Still, coaching is never more here

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