No. 9 North Carolina didn’t just pick up its 17th win of the season on Monday night in a 85-68 victory over Syracuse, they also picked up a bit of history.
With the win, Tar Heels’ coach Roy Williams became just the 11th coach in Division I men’s basketball history to pick up his 800th career win. He also became the second fastest to achieve the mark, reaching 800 in just 1,012 games. Only Adolph Rupp did it more quickly.
For Williams, the historic victory came against the Orange, led — ironically enough — by another coach who has topped the 800-win mark, Jim Boeheim. Isaiah Hicks led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds in the historic win, with Justin Jackson adding 19 points and 10 rebounds as well.
It was just another check mark in a Hall of Fame career for Williams. He began his head coaching career in Kansas back during the 1988-89 season, leading the Jayhawks to 418 wins and four Final Fours during that stretch. He’s been even more successful since arriving at North Carolina where he has won 382 games as well as national championships in 2005 and 2009. He also led the Tar Heels to the Final Four in 2008 and 2016.
Elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, Williams joins the following coaches with 800 wins: Mike Krzyzewski, Boeheim, Bob Knight, his mentor Dean Smith, Jim Calhoun, Jim Phelan, Adolph Rupp, Eddie Sutton, Rollie Massimino and Bob Huggins, who accomplished the feat just weeks ago.
Williams will go for win No. 801 on Saturday against Boston College.