Chapel Hill, N.C. – On Sunday, December 17, Eric Montross, the beloved Tar Heel basketball legend, lost his battle with cancer at the age of 52. Surrounded by his family in Chapel Hill, Eric faced his diagnosis with remarkable courage and grace. The Montross family, including Laura, Sarah, Andrew, and Megan, expressed their gratitude for the overwhelming love and support they received during Eric’s fight.
Diagnosed in March 2023, Eric’s journey was marked by the dedication of the medical community, with a special acknowledgment to the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center. Known for his kindness, Eric’s legacy is expected to endure, touching the lives of those who knew him.
During this difficult time, the family has requested privacy as they mourn the loss of their beloved family member.
Eric Montross played a crucial role in Tar Heel basketball from 1990 to 1994 under the guidance of head coach Dean Smith. His freshman and sophomore years coincided with current UNC head coach Hubert Davis’ time as a teammate. Notably, he was the starting center during the Tar Heels’ triumphant 1993 NCAA championship campaign.
In 1993, Montross received first-team All-ACC honors, was a member of the John Wooden All-America team, and earned recognition in the NCAA East Region and Final Four all-tournament teams. Following his success, Montross enjoyed a nine-season NBA career and later served as the analyst on the Tar Heel Sports Network for 18 seasons.
The Carolina Athletics community, Tar Heel basketball family, and the entire University mourn the loss of Eric Montross. Recognized not only for his athletic prowess but also for his contributions as a man of faith, a dedicated father, husband, and son, Eric leaves an indelible mark on the community.
Carolina Athletics acknowledges Montross’s significant contributions to securing scholarships for student-athletes through the Rams Club. As the Tar Heel Sports Network’s color analyst, he brought perspective, heart, and humor to fans worldwide. Eric’s unwavering support for the Lineberger Center, initiated during his college years, persisted throughout his life as he remained a leader in the fight against cancer.
The University extends its deepest condolences to Laura, his children, family, colleagues, and friends, recognizing the countless lives touched by Eric Montross.
UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz expressed deep sadness at the loss of his good friend and Tar Heel legend. Describing Eric as an incredible friend, passionate leader, and inspiring advocate for the campus, Guskiewicz emphasized the impact of Montross’s support for the UNC Children’s Hospital and his annual Father’s Day basketball camp. The Chancellor mourns the loss of a great Tar Heel and asks for thoughts and prayers for Laura, Sarah, Andrew, and Megan during this challenging time.