CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WBTV) - Roy Williams, the legendary coach for the University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball team, is retiring after a nearly 50-year coaching career.
Williams led UNC to three NCAA championships and is retiring with 903 wins as a college basketball head coach. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
He has had 48 seasons as a basketball coach, including 33 seasons as a college head coach (18 at UNC, 15 at Kansas), 10 as assistant coach at UNC and five as head coach at Owen High School in Black Mountain, N.C.
Williams, a 1972 UNC graduate, just concluded his 18th season as the head coach at his alma mater.
“Roy Williams is and always will be a Carolina basketball legend. 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,” Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan said in a statement. “I wish Roy all the best in retirement and look forward to catching up with him on the golf course sometime soon.”
In addition to NCAA titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017, he led the Tar Heels to a 485-163 record, two other Final Fours, nine ACC regular-season championships and three ACC Tournament crowns.
He ranks third all-time in wins by a Division I head coach with 903 and reached 900 wins in fewer games (1,161) and seasons (33) than any coach in NCAA history.
“When Roy Williams first stepped onto the court in Chapel Hill as a college freshman, I doubt anyone, even the great Dean Smith, could predict the Hall of Fame career he was about to start,” said North Carolina Senator Richard Burr in a statement. “After 48 seasons as a basketball coach - that included leading the Tar Heels to three national championships - Coach Williams can look back on his career knowing he leaves an enduring impact on UNC-Chapel Hill, the state of North Carolina, and the hundreds of young people he mentored over the years.”
Williams is the only coach in history with 400 wins at two schools. He was voted the Consensus National Coach of the Decade from 2000 to 2009.
He led UNC and Kansas to nine Final Fours, the fourth most all-time.