After 33 seasons as a lead trainer in men’s school ball, Roy Williams is hanging up his whistle and giving it up. The lead trainer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reported his retirement Thursday morning.
The 2007 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee drove the UNC Tar Heels to three public titles, winning titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017. Williams likewise guided UNC to two other Final Fours, nine ACC standard season titles and three ACC competition titles.
“It’s been a thrill. It’s been unbelievable. I’ve loved it,” Williams said at a question and answer session at the Smith Center on Thursday. “No one has ever enjoyed coaching like 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.”
Williams, 70, is a local of Marion, N.C., and a 1972 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate. He leaves his post on the Tar Heels’ seat as perhaps the most cultivated school ball mentors ever.
Across his training vocation – which additionally included 15 seasons at the University of Kansas – he dominated 903 matches. He hit that mark quicker than any mentor in men’s school b-ball history and he is the lone mentor to succeed at least 400 games at two schools. Among Division I men’s lead trainers, he is third unequaled in absolute triumphs, following just Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
“Roy’s fingerprints will forever be on the sport of college basketball, and specifically, the Atlantic Coast Conference,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in an articulation. “We wish him, (his wife) Wanda and his entire family all the best as he begins this next chapter of an amazing life.”
Williams trained 52 players who might proceed to play in the NBA, 32 of which were first-round picks. Williams additionally trained 17 first-group All-Americans.
“I’m sad that he’s leaving because he has meant so much to basketball,” Tar Heel b-ball legend Michael Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. “(Williams) and my father formed an unbelievable bond that meant so much to me.”
Before he turned into the lead trainer at Kansas, Williams was an aide at UNC under Dean Smith for 10 seasons. What’s more, before that, he was the lead trainer at Owen High School in Black Mountain. In all, he’s been coaching young men in the game of basketball for 48 years.
“I could never come close to matching what Coach Smith did, but every day I tried to make him proud,” Williams said.
He steered of the Jayhawks in 1988 and drove Kansas to four Final Fours and four gathering competition titles across 15 seasons.
Williams was at last baited back to UNC in 2003, six seasons after Smith ― his coach ― resigned. Under Williams’ supervision, UNC had a 444-57 record at home, a 88.6 winning rate. His last game in the Dean Smith Center was a 18-point prevail upon rival Duke. In the range of his 18 seasons at UNC, the Tar Heels were the lone men’s group to win three public titles. Williams had only one losing season in his residency at North Carolina, a 14-19 record in the 2019-20 season. In his 33 years as a lead trainer, he just missed the NCAA competition two different occasions: his first season at Kansas and in 2010, a race to the NIT last with UNC.
In his last game leading the Tar Heels, UNC lost to Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA competition a month ago. It was Williams’ just misfortune in the opening round and his 30th by and large appearance in the competition. Williams was 45-13 record-breaking in the NCAA competition with the Tar Heels.
“The most recent two years have been truly hard,” Williams said.
Through everything, Williams consistently had the admiration of his companions.
“He has been a phenomenal minister for our incredible game,” Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said in a proclamation. “The scene of College basketball has changed massively however the Carolina custom on account of Roy Williams is pretty much as solid as it has at any point been. He is a Hall of Famer in each feeling of the title.”
Williams said he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what’s on the horizon, regardless of whether he’ll be engaged with ball in any structure going ahead, however he realizes that he will not mentor once more.
“I’d love to be an ambassador for the game and an ambassador for coaches,” Williams said. “Since mentors are my legends.”