It’s been two weeks since the Carolina Basketball program announced it’s coaching staff for the upcoming season, which included two holdovers from the Roy Williams staff, plus two new additions. When Hubert Davis was hired he made it known that to be on his staff, you had to be a “Carolina guy” meaning you had to have played, or have substantial ties to the storied program. That’s why Sean May and Brad Frederick were retained, and Jeff Lebo and Jackie Manuel were added. There have been a lot of questions about the staff that Davis has assembled so far, but he’s put people around him that knows the game, and he can trust, which is most important. Last night Hubert Davis added another member to his staff, with ties to the Carolina program.
Pat Sullivan is a former teammate of Hubert Davis’, like Jeff Lebo, and played for UNC from 1990-1995. A highly recruited small forward from New York, Sullivan picked the Tar Heels over ACC foes Duke and Virginia. A bench player for most of his time in Chapel Hill, Sullivan was the player that missed the free throw in the 1993 national title game, which led to Chris Weber’s infamous timeout sequence. After redshirting in 1993-94, Sullivan returned for the following season which Carolina made the Final Four, making Sullivan the first Tar Heel to make 3 Final Four appearances since 1969.
Following his time on the court, Sullivan stayed with the UNC program, serving as a video coordinator for Dean Smith’s last two seasons, before being promoted to assistant under Bill Guthridge for his 3 seasons as the head coach. After that, he joined the UNC-W women’s program as an assistant before taking a job in the NBA. His first job in the NBA was video coordinator for the Detroit Pistons, which was coached by former Tar Heel Larry Brown. That led to an assistant position which he’s since held in both Detroit, the former New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, and his hometown New York Knicks. He was last with the Minnesota Timberwolves before coming back to his alma mater.
Sullivan is believed to assume a player development role within the program, which means a lot of his eyes will be on him. Since the 2019 season, player development hasn’t been at the level Tar Heel fans are accustomed to. There’s a lot of untapped potential on this roster, especially in the back court where four sophomore guards return next season. His time in the NBA will be beneficial both to possible recruits, and to the current players as UNC is expected to play a more modern version of basketball under Hubert Davis.
Make sure to stay tuned to the Heel Tough Blog for the latest news around Carolina Basketball.
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