College Basketball

Roy Williams – a Kansas and UNC legend – announces retirement

April 1

One of the most decorated coaching careers in college basketball history has come to an end, as North Carolina announced the retirement of head coach Roy Williams on Thursday.

Williams got his coaching start under legendary UNC coach Dean Smith, serving as a Tar Heels assistant from 1978-1988, coaching the likes of Michael Jordan and other Chapel Hill greats before taking over at Kansas in 1988.

He spent 15 seasons at the helm of the Jayhawks program, compiling a 418-101 overall record in his first collegiate head coaching stint. 

Williams took Kansas to the national championship twice (1990-91 and 2002-03), the Final Four four times, the Elite Eight five times and the Sweet 16 nine times. He guided the Jayhawks to five Big 8 regular-season titles, one Big 8 Tournament title, four Big 12 regular-season titles and two Big 12 Tournament titles.

Williams returned to Chapel Hill and took over the reins at UNC in 2003, where his success continued, as he led the Tar Heels program to the NCAA Tournament 16 times in 18 years. 

The Tar Heels went to the national championship game four times under Williams, winning it in 2004-05, 2008-09 and 2016-17. 

In total, UNC had five Final Four berths, eight Elite Eight berths and 10 Sweet 16 berths under Williams. 

Williams finishes with an overall record of 485-163 at North Carolina, where he won nine ACC regular-season championships and three ACC Tournament titles.

He had one losing season in his 33 years as a head coach – in 2019-20, his Tar Heels finished 14-19 – and he is the only coach in NCAA history to lead two different programs to four or more Final Fours.

On Thursday, the Twitter world reacted to Williams' retirement with praise for his legendary career, and many former players, analysts and college hoops lovers recalled some of Williams' most memorable moments, as well as his impact on the college and professional games.


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