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|File:Pg2 g bsteel sy 200.jpg|
|University||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Head coach||Roy Williams (8th season)|
|Conference||Atlantic Coast Conference
|Arena||Dean Smith Center
|Colors||Carolina Blue and White
Blue Steel is a recently coined term used to describe the North Carolina Tar Heels Men’s Basketball Team walk-ons. Blue Steel is composed of 6 players on the 2010-2011 team who, despite the fact that they are non-scholarship athletes, have a position on the team and play a key role in its development. They are lead by Basketball Hall of Fame coach, Roy Williams, who is third all time in the NCAA for winning percentage.
Coinage of Name
The term Blue Steel was created by walk-on member Stewart Cooper, a Junior out of Forsyth Country Day School, and has spread like wildfire. It is a term that is now widely known and used by members of the student body, faculty, Tar Heel fans and, more recently, by sports reporters throughout the country.
On the name Blue Steel:
BOLICK: Williams called us a combination of "J.V." or "Parentheses." On the actual practice plans, all the walk-ons' names were on the practice sheets in parentheses next to the player they'd substitute in for. So he'd say, "Parentheses, get in there." We said, "We can't go with being called the parentheses."
COOPER: We didn't want to tell Williams to start calling us [Blue Steel]. We told one of the assistant coaches.
BOLICK: The assistant coaches started calling us Blue Steel at the beginning of the week. By the end of the week, Coach Williams had caught on as well.
COOPER: It was pretty funny the first time he said it. He said he liked it. He's never really gone back.
JOHNSTON: It definitely started off in practice, not as sort of a schtick-type thing, which is what it turned into. When he first said it in a game, we looked at each other like, "Nice."
Roster and Statistics
- "North Carolina Season Statistics". Retrieved 6 April 2011.
Significance to Others
• "You're welcome Tar Heel fans. If we didn't get dunked on every day in practice, you wouldn't be able to see it in the game. #feelthesteel"
• "bucket, drawn charge, airball and one of the biggest blocks ever in the nc state game...the world saw all aspects of Steel's game. #respect"
• "We're gonna have a far better view than the "crazies" and we didn't waste all of January sleeping in a tent. #feelthesteel"
Blue Steel players filmed in action along with comments from members and team players. Submitted with permission from creator. []
Harrison Barnes' audio response to question about Blue Steel players: "From the walk-ons starting, to the students rushing the court, is this your finest memory as a Tar Heel thus far?" "Just to see Blue Steel get some recognition out there and be able to start—they work so hard and are the unsung hero of this team. Then to have them rush the court, we haven't had that happen this year, and it's a great experience to have that, to know that a ring is on the way. That's the best feeling.[]
Blue Steel recently released their own t-shirts.
Charity Date Auction
On February 14, 2011, UNC Chapel Hill held an auction for the charity Dance Marathon. Dates with members of the schools basketball team were auctioned off in order to support the organization, which aims to raise money for sick children. Specifically, members of Blue Steel were auctioned off for $375. []