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Heel Tough Blog: Hall of Fame Head Coach Roy Williams Retires

Roy Williams, the head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels since 2003-04 announced his retirement from coaching today, after 33 years as a college head coach, and 48 years coaching overall. Williams’ who left Dean Smith’s bench in 1988 to take over the decorated program at Kansas returned home after 15, to take over, and restore the Carolina Basketball program in 2003. During his 18 years in Chapel Hill, the program experienced a wild amount of success under Williams. Carolina made 5 Final Fours, won 3 national championships, 9 ACC regular season titles, and 3 ACC Tournament championships.

His retirement comes after arguably the most trying season of his career, as he guided the program through the ongoing pandemic. Williams’ a known family man had to sacrifice sacred time with his family, that he’s never had to before. Nonetheless, Williams gave the team, program, and a fan base the best he had every single day, but you could tell after the season ending loss to Wisconsin, he appeared burnt out. When he took the job, he promised Coach Smith he wouldn’t quit too, knowing how he respects his mentor, this decision wasn’t made lightly.

We all know Ol’ Roy wasn’t one to boast about his accomplishments, and even as he rides off into the sunset, he’ll still defer the credit he deserves. Here’s a short list of all he accomplished coaching college at the highest level:

  • 903 careers wins. 3rd most all time in Division 1

  • Fastest to reach 900 wins (1,161 games)

  • 2007 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee

  • 9 Final Four appearances. 4th most all time

  • Only coach to win 400 games at multiple schools. (Kansas & UNC)

  • One of only 6 coaches to win at least national championships

  • National Coach of the Decade 2000-09

  • 2nd in NCAA Tournament win, #1 seeds, games, and 3rd in NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.745)

  • 3rd in ACC wins. 3rd most ACC road wins

  • 32 NBA first rounds picks. 52 total NBA players

That is just the short list of all that Roy Williams achieved at both Kansas and North Carolina. His impact goes further than on court success, as he’s beloved by former players for his devotion to them. A generous donor to both Kansas and UNC proved that it was always more than just basketball to him. He was also a great ambassador for the game of college basketball, and the game will miss him dearly.

The Heel Tough Blog would like to thank Roy Williams for all that he’s done while at North Carolina, and wish him a happy and healthy retirement.

Roy's Boys Podcast:

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