North Carolina coach Roy Williams to retire

Roy Williams, who led North Carolina to three NCAA titles and Kansas to four Final Fours, is retiring after 33 seasons.

North Carolina announced his retirement Thursday morning. Williams, 70, was scheduled to address the media at 4 p.m.

“Thank you for all you have done and meant to everyone who plays and loves our game,” the university said in a statement.

Williams, a 1972 North Carolina graduate, spent 18 seasons as the Tar Heels’ head coach. He is credited for revitalizing a program that was 27-36 in two seasons under Matt Doherty from 2001-03. Those were the only two seasons that North Carolina missed the NCAA Tournament since 1974.

Roy Williams
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North Carolina named Williams to replace Doherty before the 2003 season, and in his second year on the job, the Tar Heels won the first of their three NCAA championships — 2005, 2009 and 2017 — under his leadership.

The Tar Heels played in two more Final Fours and won nine ACC regular-season championships and three ACC tournament crowns during the Williams era, which ended with a overall record under Williams of 485-163.

With the Jayhawks, he compiled a record of 418-101 in 15 seasons.

He is just one of five NCAA men’s basketball coaches to win at least 900 games at the Division I level — a feat he achieved in the 2019-20 season. He is on the list with Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Bob Knight and Bob Huggins.

The Tar Heels were eliminated in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament following an 85-62 loss to Wisconsin.

Hall Of Fame Career Spanned 5 Decades

Williams coached for 48 seasons, starting with five seasons as the head coach at Owen High School in Black Mountain, N.C., and 10 as an assistant coach at North Carolina under his mentor, the legendary Dean Smith.

Williams was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Roy Williams
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Praise for Williams poured in on social media on Thursday morning, including from North Carolina’s longtime rival, Duke.

“Salute to UNC Head Coach Roy Williams on a legendary 48-year career,” Duke basketball posted to its Twitter account. “All respect. Thank you for all you have done for the game, our league and the greatest rivalry in sports.”

Williams had a 79-27 record in the NCAA Tournament – 45 of those wins coming with the Tar Heels. In addition to the nine Final Fours, his teams appeared in 13 Elite Eights (9-4 record) and 19 Sweet 16 rounds (13-6).

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)