UNC’s Williams aims to coach as long as health remains good

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams says he plans to coach “as long as I feel good and have my health.”

UNC announced Wednesday an eight-year extension for Williams through the 2027-28 season, when he would be nearly 78 years old.

Asked if he could see himself coaching to 2028, Williams quipped Thursday: “Somebody sees me doing that, I don’t know who, but somebody does.”

“Recently I’ve been saying as long as I feel good and have my health,” Williams said. “I enjoy what I’m doing, I really do. It’s fun. Faced some adversity, faced some tough times, but that’s part of life, too.”

Williams has never publicly indicated retirement was imminent, more than once in recent seasons offering time ranges of several years to maybe a decade more to come. For example, he said he was aiming for another five to nine years after UNC lost to Villanova in the 2016 NCAA championship game.

The Hall of Fame coach has led North Carolina to three national championships and is 432-128 in his 16th season at his alma mater after a 15-year run at Kansas.

The ninth-ranked Tar Heels, who climbed three spots in the AP Top 25 after last weekend’s win against Gonzaga, face 19th-ranked Kentucky in Saturday’s CBS Sports Classic in Chicago. UNC won the last meeting in the 2017 NCAA Elite Eight on Luke Maye’s last-second shot on the way to Williams’ third title.