The University of North Carolina declared around 9 AM (Jayhawk time) on April 1 that Roy Williams was retiring from coaching college basketball. There was a press conference later in the early evening time during which Roy referred back to his time at Kansas upwards of multiple times; on the off chance that you are interested in watching the replay, this tweet gives a few alternatives.
After 33 seasons as a head coach in men’s college basketball, Roy Williams is hanging up his whistle and calling it quits. The head coach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill declared his retirement Thursday morning.
A North Carolina native, Roy Williams went to UNC and got his beginning in coaching at the high school level. After serving under Dean Smith as a partner from 1978-88, he was hired at Kansas after Larry Brown left for the NBA.
Soon after his recruit at KU, the Jayhawks were set waiting on probation for violations that occurred under the past staff, making them ineligible for the NCAA Tournament following the 1988-89 season despite a 19-12 record and six weeks in the top-25 midseason.
In his second year, the Jayhawks set a team record for points scored when they defeated Kentucky 150-95 in Allen Fieldhouse. Roy Williams would proceed to lead KU to 14-straight NCAA Tournaments, which started a still-active NCAA record streak of 31-straight seasons. Roy Williams would eventually take the Jayhawks to four Final Fours: 1991, 1993, 2002, and 2003.
The one knock on Roy Williams from a KU viewpoint might be what he didn’t achieve in Lawrence, to be specific, he left town with no national championships, also, some early competition exits. KU entered the NCAA Tournament as a 1-seed five times under Roy (1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002), just making the Final Four once as a favorite. The 1997 Jayhawks, in the discussion as one of the best college basketball teams ever, fell in the Sweet 16 to 4-seed Arizona.
Roy Williams’s 2001-02 Jayhawks are as yet the only Big 12 team to move through the conference unbeaten, going 16-0. Williams left Kansas as the second-winningest coach behind Phog Allen (even though Bill Self has since passed him), going 418-101 in 15 years.
Roy was 35-4 against K-State while in Lawrence, and didn’t lose to the Wildcats after the 1993-94 season. He was likewise 19-13 against Missouri, however strangely only 4-3 against the Tigers as the AP #1 team. His favorite opponent (other than KSU) was likely Colorado, against whom he held a 33-2 benefit.
The Jayhawks were the winningest D1 program of the 1990s. Roy Williams gave us Raef and Scot, Nick and Kirk, 150-95, 62-straight (home successes), 16-0, “I don’t give a $h!t about North Carolina,” and eventually, after he left KU, he rather reluctantly gave us 40-12, “It’s over!,” and the now-notorious Jayhawk sticker.
The 2007 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee led the UNC Tar Heels to three national championships, winning titles in 2005, 2009, and 2017. Williams additionally guided UNC to two other Final Fours, nine ACC regular-season titles, and three ACC competition titles.
Roy Williams completes his career with 903 career wins, right now third record-breaking in Division 1. He’s the first (thus far just) coach to win 400+ matches at two universities. He turned Kansas around following the probation season that was a consequence of the Larry Brown period when things might have immediately gone south for the KU program and promptly balanced out a North Carolina program that was reeling after three years under Matt Doherty.
Roy Williams coached 52 players who might proceed to play in the NBA, 32 of which were first-round picks. Williams additionally coached 17 first-team All-Americans.
“It’s been a thrill. It’s been unbelievable. I’ve loved it,” Roy Williams said at a press conference at the Smith Center on Thursday. “No one has ever enjoyed coaching as I have. … I no longer feel that I am the right man for the job.
“I never had any day where I didn’t give my absolute best. Not one single day. I cared deeply for my school. I cared deeply for every player. I’m really proud of what we accomplished.”
“Roy Williams is and always will be a Carolina basketball legend,” Jordan said in a statement through his business manager. “His great success on the court is truly matched by the impact he had on the lives of the players he coached — including me. I’m proud of the way he carried on the tradition of Coach Smith’s program, always putting his players first.”
Roy Williams won nine ACC regular-season championships and three conference tournament titles with the Tar Heels. He won seven league competition titles with the Jayhawks.
En route, Williams had only one losing season – an injury-plagued 14-19 year in 2019-20 – and in any case missed the NCAA competition just in his first season at Kansas, when he acquired a program waiting on probation, and in 2010 with a UNC team that arrived at the NIT final.
Since taking over in Chapel Hill, Roy Williams had 21 players taken in the first round of the NBA draft – the third-highest total by any college coach in that span, following just John Calipari (35) and Krzyzewski (24).
Philadelphia 76ers guard Danny Green, who played four seasons for Williams and was part of the 2009 title champ, said Williams has been a “father figure.”
“I became a man in four years there,” said Green, a three-time NBA champion who recently made a $1 million endowment scholarship gift to the Tar Heels’ basketball program. “He’s always been more than a coach to me. He taught me how to be a man and how to do things the right way.”
Williams represented 27 minutes, responded to a few inquiries, at that point remained to a round of applause in the Smith Center. He stepped from the platform, grasped Wanda’s hand, and walked off the court that is named after him, to start the rest of his life.
Roy Williams is one of 8 coaches in the whole history of Kansas ball, and KU has looked after its “blue-blood” status in college basketball due in no small part to Roy Williams’s endeavors while he was here.
Roy Williams, 70, is a native of Marion, N.C., and a 1972 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate. He leaves his post on the Tar Heels’ bench as one of the most accomplished college basketball coaches ever.