Roy Williams (coach): Wikis


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Roy Williams
Roy Williams at a North Carolina press conference. Photo credit: Zeke Smith.
Title Head coach
College North Carolina
Sport Basketball
Conference ACC
Team record 193-53 (.784)
Born August 1, 1950 (1950-08-01) (age 59)
Place of birth Marion, North Carolina
Career highlights
Overall 611-154 (.798)
NCAA Division I Tournament Championship (2005, 2009)
Regional Championships - Final Four (1991,1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009)
ACC Tournament Championship (2007, 2008)
ACC Regular Season Championship (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Big 12 Tournament Championship (1997, 1998, 1999)
Big 12 Regular Season Championship (1997, 1998, 2002, 2003)
Big Eight Tournament Championship (1992)
Big Eight Regular Season Championship (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)
AP Coach of the Year (1992, 2006)
Naismith College Coach of the Year (1997)
Henry Iba Award (1990, 2006)
John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award (2003)
Playing career
1968–1969 North Carolina (J.V.)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Charles D. Owen HS
North Carolina (asst.)
North Carolina
Basketball Hall of Fame, 2007

Roy Allen Williams (born August 1, 1950) is head coach of the men's basketball team at the University of North Carolina.[1] After averaging about an 80% win percentage in 15 seasons at the University of Kansas, he became the eighteenth head coach at North Carolina when he replaced Matt Doherty in 2003. He is second all-time for most wins at Kansas behind Phog Allen and at North Carolina behind his mentor Dean Smith. Additionally, he is third all-time in the NCAA for winning percentage.[2] Williams has taken his teams to seven Final Fours in his careers at Kansas and North Carolina (fourth all-time in NCAA history).[3] Williams has also won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament for 20 consecutive years (all-time record)[4] and has led his teams at Kansas and North Carolina to 20 consecutive NCAA Tournaments (second all-time). This streak ended in the 2009-2010 season as UNC failed to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.[5] Williams holds the active record for consecutive NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament appearances,[6] and is the winningest active coach by percentage among coaches with at least 10 years experience. His teams have a 611-154 record[7][8], a win percentage of .798. He earned his 400th win in January 2003, when Kansas beat the University of Wyoming. Coach Williams won his 500th career game against High Point University on December 9, 2006 in Chapel Hill. On November 29, 2009, Williams earned his 600th career victory by defeating the University of Nevada.[9] Williams became only the 33rd coach in Division I Men's Basketball history, as well as the third-fastest, to achieve at least 600 career wins.[10] On April 4, 2005, Williams shed his title as "the most successful coach to never have won an NCAA ring"[11] as his Tar Heels defeated the University of Illinois in the 2005 NCAA Championship game. He would again lead them to victory 4 years later, defeating the Michigan State Spartans in the 2009 NCAA Championship game on April 6, 2009. Williams is the fourth active coach, and thirteenth overall, to win multiple National Championships.[12] In 2007, Williams was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame .[13]


Early years

Williams was born and spent his early years in the small western North Carolina towns of Marion and Spruce Pine. As a child his family relocated to nearby Asheville, N.C., where he grew up. Williams lettered in basketball and baseball at T. C. Roberson High School near Asheville all four years.[14] In basketball, playing for Coach Buddy Baldwin, he was named all-county and all-conference for two years (1967 and 1968), all-western North Carolina in 1968 and served as captain in the North Carolina Blue-White All-Star Game.[14] Williams has stated that Coach Baldwin was one of the biggest influences in his life.[15]

Williams went on to play on the UNC Junior Varsity Basketball team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study the game under legendary coach Dean Smith. When Williams was a sophomore at Carolina, he asked Smith if he could attend his practices and would sit in the bleachers taking notes on Smith's coaching.[16] Williams also volunteered to keep statistics for Smith at home games and worked in Smith's summer camps. [17]

Williams graduated in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in education and later received an M.A.T. (Masters of Arts in Teaching) in 1973 from North Carolina.

Early coaching years

Williams' first coaching job was in 1973 as a high school basketball and golf coach at Charles D. Owen High School in Swannanoa, N.C.[14] He coached basketball and boys' golf for five years, ninth-grade football for four years, and served as athletic director for two years.

In 1978, Williams came back to the University of North Carolina and served as an assistant to Coach Dean Smith. Williams would serve as an assistant coach from 1978–1988. During his tenure as assistant coach, North Carolina went 275–61 and won the NCAA national championship in 1982, the first for Smith and second for North Carolina. One of Williams more notable events came as assistant coach when he became instrumental in recruiting Michael Jordan.

Years as head coach at Kansas

In 1988, Williams left North Carolina and became the head coach of the University of Kansas Jayhawks, replacing former North Carolina assistant and UCLA head coach Larry Brown, who had taken the position as head coach of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. He was hired just months after the Danny Manning-led Jayhawks unexpectedly won the 1988 NCAA championship. Weeks after taking the position, KU was placed on probation for violations that took place prior to his arrival.[14]

Williams coached 15 seasons at Kansas (from 1988–2003). During that time he had a record of 418–101, a .805 winning percentage. Williams's Kansas teams averaged 27.8 wins per season.

Kansas won nine regular-season conference championships over his last 13 years. In seven years of Big 12 Conference play, his teams went 94–18, capturing the regular-season title in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003 and the postseason tournament crown in 1997, 1998 and 1999. In 2001–02, KU became the first, and so far only, team to go undefeated (16–0) in Big 12 play. From 1995-98, Kansas was a combined 123–17 - an average of 30.8 wins per season. Williams' teams went 201–17 (.922) in Allen Fieldhouse, and won 62 consecutive games in Allen from February 1994 to December 1998. Kansas was a regular in the Associated Press Top 25 from 1991 to 1999, placing in the poll for 145 consecutive weeks. Williams' teams were ranked in the Top 10 in 194 AP polls from 1990.[14]

Kansas led the nation in field goal percentage and scoring in 2002 and in scoring margin in 2003; they held opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the country in 2001 (37.8 percent); led the nation in winning percentage in 1997 and 2002; shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the season seven times; and led the country in field goal percentage in 1990 at 53.3 percent, and in 2002 at 50.6 percent; shot a combined 49.4 percent from the floor in 15 seasons; led the nation in assists in 2001 and 2002 and was seventh in the nation in 2003; scored 100 or more points 71 times (once every 13 games); averaged 82.7 points per game in 15 years; averaged 90 or more points in two seasons (92.1 in 1990 and 90.9 in 2002).[14] Kansas was also the winningest team of the 1990s, despite failing to win any NCAA championships during the decade.

Williams had Kansas in the AP Top 25 in 242 of 268 weekly polls. Kansas reached the No. 1 ranking in the country in six different seasons and was ranked at least No. 2 in the nation in 11 of the 15 seasons.

Under Williams, the team had several deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, making it to four Final Fours and appearing in the national championship game in both 1991 and 2003, losing both, to Duke and Syracuse respectively. Amidst the tournament successes, there were plenty of woes. The 1996-97 team was said by many to be one of the greatest teams in history, featuring future NBA players such as Paul Pierce, Jacque Vaughn, Raef LaFrentz, and Scot Pollard. The team was upset in the Sweet Sixteen by the eventual champion, Arizona Wildcats.[18]

Except for his first season at Kansas (when the team was on probation), all of Williams' teams made the NCAA tournament. From 1990 to 1999 Kansas compiled a 286–60 record, giving them both the most wins and best winning percentage of any team in that decade.[19] From 1994 to 1998, the Jayhawks won 62 consecutive home games at Allen Fieldhouse, which was the longest such streak in the NCAA at the time. The seniors of 1998 (Raef LaFrentz, Billy Thomas, and C.B. McGrath) went 58-0 at home during their KU careers.

Kansas won nine regular-season conference championships over his last 13 years. In seven years of Big 12 Conference play, his teams went 94–18, capturing the regular-season title in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003 and the postseason tournament crown in 1997, 1998 and 1999. In 2001–02, KU became the first, and so far only, team to go undefeated (16–0) in Big 12 play. From 1995–98, Kansas was a combined 123–17 - an average of 30.8 wins per season.

Williams' teams went 201–17 (.922) in Allen Fieldhouse, and won 62 consecutive games in Allen from February 1994 to December 1998. Kansas was a regular in the Associated Press Top 25 from 1991 to 1999, placing in the poll for 145 consecutive weeks. Williams' teams were ranked in the Top 10 in 194 AP polls from 1990.[14]

Leaving Kansas for North Carolina

Williams was faced with the opportunity to return to North Carolina in 2000, when Bill Guthridge left the head coaching position vacant.[20] After national media sources such as ESPN prematurely announced Williams would take the position, they quickly backed off as it became clear that Williams' mind was not made up. North Carolina media continued to report that he had accepted the position. After a week of this back-and-forth, Williams held a press conference at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan., where he announced that he was staying at Kansas.[21][22]

Williams took the 2003 Kansas team to the NCAA championship game against Syracuse. Syracuse defeated Kansas, 81–78, to win the NCAA championship. The end of the season brought a cloud of uncertainty over KU, as Williams' future was up in the air. Chancellor Robert Hemenway fired KU Athletic Director Al Bohl, and while he cited Bohl's involvement in an academic scandal at Fresno State, many perceived the move as a desperate move to keep Williams at KU, as the relationship between Bohl and Williams was very poor. Bohl reacted angrily, accusing Williams of engineering the firing.

"This is a sad day for college athletics when a basketball coach has the power to hire and fire a university's athletic director...He had the choice to either crush me with his power of influence or let me fly with my visions for a better total program. He chose to crush me."[23]

Williams ended up accepting the North Carolina head coaching position following the controversial three-year run of Matt Doherty.[24]

In July 2005, KU released a report stating that they had violated an NCAA extra benefit rule during Williams' tenure.[25] KU opted against self-imposing penalties.[26] However, in 2006, the NCAA, after conducting its own investigation, decided to impose penalties. In reaching its decision, the NCAA noted that two boosters, one since 1988, had provided graduation gifts to outgoing basketball players with the knowledge of Williams.[27] Gene Marsh, chair of the infractions committee, said there was no thought of now penalizing former KU coach Roy Williams for approving small cash gifts to graduating seniors.[28]

Years as head coach at North Carolina

When Williams came to North Carolina, it was hoped that he would restore a measure of stability to the program. He was the school's third coach in six years; the previous two coaches--Frank McGuire and Dean Smith--covered a 45-year period.

The Tar Heels were coming off of a mediocre season and two years before had suffered the worst season in school history. Nevertheless, the team still had top talent, including McDonald's All Americans Sean May, Rashad McCants, and Raymond Felton. In his first season, North Carolina finished 19–11 and returned to the national rankings for the first time since the early part of the 2001-02 season. They were knocked out in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Texas.

In Williams' second year, the Tar Heels returned to national prominence. With the arrival of freshman Marvin Williams, Williams was able to coach North Carolina to a National Championship in 2005.[29] After winning the championship, the team's top seven scorers all left. Despite such a massive loss of talent, the Tar Heels proved to be surprisingly successful in 2005-06, in part due to freshman Tyler Hansbrough. Williams was named Coach of the Year for his ability to turn around such a new team to such a high level of success.

Williams quickly reloaded the team with top talent, bringing in recruits like Brandan Wright, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Deon Thompson. The 2006–07 team tied as ACC regular season champions, earning the tiebreak over the Virginia Cavaliers. With the #1 seed, the Tar Heels won the ACC Tournament. After earning a #1 seed in the East Region in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, Williams' team won its first round game against Eastern Kentucky Colonels 86–65 and its second against Michigan State 81–67. North Carolina then defeated the USC Trojans 74–64 to advance to the Elite Eight. On March 24, 2007, North Carolina fell to the Georgetown Hoyas in overtime in the East Regional, ending its post-season run. Following the 2006–2007 season, Williams announced on July 18, 2007 that he has vertigo, a condition that occasionally forces him to sit down suddenly during games.[30]

The 2007-08 season was just as successful, culminating in another ACC regular season and tournament championship. Williams led the Tar Heels to a school-record 36 wins, the #1 overall ranking in the final AP poll, a #1 seed in the East Region of the tournament, the tournament's overall #1 seed, and the 2008 Final Four. The Tar Heels' run ended with an 84-66 loss in the Final Four to Kansas, Williams' former team. Two days after the defeat, he attended the tournament final between Kansas and Memphis, sporting a Jayhawk sticker on his shirt, which sparked controversy among Tar Heel fans.

With Tyler Hansbrough returning to Chapel Hill for his senior season, they were tipped by numerous prognosticators as the favorites to win the NCAA championship. The Heels started the season #1 in the polls. They won their first 13 games before being upset by Boston College 85–78. Two games later, they fell at ACC rival Wake Forest 92–89, but went on a winning streak, including a defeat of archrival Duke by 101–87, Williams' fourth straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium. In defeating Duke 79–71 in the season finale, the Tar Heels secured their third straight ACC regular season title and fourth in Williams' six seasons as head coach at UNC. Although they lost in the second round of the ACC Tournament to Florida State, they still garnered the top seed in the NCAA South Region--the fourth time in Williams' six-year tenure in Chapel Hill that the Tar Heels have been a #1 seed. North Carolina defeated Radford in the first round of the NCAA tournament, then LSU in the second round, and Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 round, followed by a 72–60 defeat of the Oklahoma Sooners in the Elite 8 that gave North Carolina its second straight berth into the Final Four. A 83–69 victory over Villanova vaulted the Tar Heels into the national championship game. They played the Michigan State Spartans in the National Championship game and Williams won his second title with an 89–72 victory.

The 2009-2010 season was disappointing for North Carolina. They finished the regular season at 16-15[31], dropped to #3 in all-time wins[32], and bowed out in the First Round of the ACC tournament. The Tar Heels did not receive a post-season tournament bid by the NCAA[33], but they did receive a bid to the NIT and will host William and Mary in the first round.

Personal life

Williams and his wife Wanda, also a 1972 Carolina graduate, have a son and a daughter. Williams has contributed $200,000 to the Carolina Covenant, an initiative at North Carolina that allows low-income students to attend the University debt-free. Roy and Wanda serve as honorary co-chairs of a $10 million campaign to endow the program. Williams signed with North Carolina in 2008 for a 5 year, $10 million contract.[citation needed]

In 2009, Algonquin Books published Williams' autobiography, "Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court," co-written by Tim Crothers. In the book, Williams discuses his personal life and his professional career as a coach.[34]


Roy Williams was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on April 1, 2007.[35] Williams has won the Associated Press Coach of the Year award twice. He was first honored in 1992 with the Kansas Jayhawks. He was recognized at North Carolina in 2006, as he had a surprisingly successful season after losing 96% of the 2005 championship squad's scoring productivity. He is only the seventh coach in history to win the award twice and the second to do it at two different schools.[36]

Williams received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award from the Los Angeles Athletic Club in April 2003.

Williams was named by Forbes as America's Best College Basketball Coach in February 2009[37]

In December 2009 Seth Davis at Sports Illustrated nominated Williams as one of the coaches of the decade. /2009/magazine/specials/2000s/12/08/cbb.highlights.lowlights/index.html</ref>


  • Williams won more games in the first 15 seasons of his coaching career than anyone else in NCAA history.[38]
  • Williams is the 12th coach to lead two schools to the Final Four and the third (with Larry Brown and Frank McGuire) to direct two schools to the championship game.[14]
  • Williams is third all-time in NCAA Tournament wins with 49 and has an NCAA postseason win percentage of .731, fourth-best among active coaches. Eight of his teams have been seeded No. 1 in a region in NCAA play.[14]
  • Williams has coached a team to 30 or more wins eight times, which is the second-most in NCAA history. He has won 20 or more games 18 times in 20 years (winning 19 in his first seasons at Kansas and North Carolina), including 14 straight seasons at Kansas, a streak that equaled the third longest in NCAA history.[14]
  • He was the third-fastest coach in history to reach 300 wins and fourth fastest to 400. He reached 500 wins in his 19th season, faster than any other Division I coach.[39] He has won more games than any coach after eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 seasons as a head coach. He is the second-winningest Jayhawk coach in history behind Smith's college coach, Phog Allen.[14]
  • Williams earned National Coach of the Year honors three times at Kansas, in 1990 (Henry Iba Award), 1992 (Associated Press) and 1997 (Naismith COY) and was Big Eight/Big 12 Coach of the Year seven times (1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002 and 2003). The New York Athletic Club presented him with its National Coach of the Year award in 2005. He received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in 2003 from the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Williams won the National Coach of the Year Award in 2006 while coaching North Carolina. [14]
  • Williams helped coach Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece with fellow North Carolina alumnus (and former Kansas coach) Larry Brown.[14]
  • Williams captured his 100th overall victory since coaching in the ACC on March 4, 2007. Williams is the second-fastest ACC coach to reach 100 victories.
  • Williams earned his 600th career victory, with a 80-73 win in a home matchup against the Nevada Wolf Pack, on November 29, 2009

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kansas (Big Eight Conference) (1988–1996)
1988–1989 Kansas 19-12 6-8 6th Ineligible due to NCAA violations
1989–1990 Kansas 30-5 11-3 T-2nd NCAA 2nd Round
1990–1991 Kansas 27-8 10-4 T-1st NCAA Runner-Up
1991–1992 Kansas 27-5 11-3 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1992–1993 Kansas 29-7 11-3 1st NCAA Final Four
1993–1994 Kansas 27-8 9-5 3rd NCAA Sweet 16
1994–1995 Kansas 25-6 11-3 1st NCAA Sweet 16
1995–1996 Kansas 29-5 12-2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
Kansas (Big 12 Conference) (1996–2003)
1996–1997 Kansas 34-2 15-1 1st NCAA Sweet 16
1997–1998 Kansas 35-4 15-1 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1998–1999 Kansas 23-10 11-5 T-2nd NCAA 2nd Round
1999–2000 Kansas 24-10 11-5 5th NCAA 2nd Round
2000–2001 Kansas 26-7 12-4 T-2nd NCAA Sweet 16
2001–2002 Kansas 33-4 16-0 1st NCAA Final Four
2002–2003 Kansas 30-8 14-2 1st NCAA Runner-Up
Kansas: 418-101 175-49
North Carolina (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2003–present)
2003–2004 North Carolina 19-11 8-8 6th NCAA 2nd Round
2004–2005 North Carolina 33-4 14-2 1st NCAA Champions
2005–2006 North Carolina 23-8 12-4 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2006–2007 North Carolina 31-7 11-5 T-1st NCAA Elite Eight
2007-2008 North Carolina 36-3 14-2 1st NCAA Final Four
2008-2009 North Carolina 34-4 13-3 1st NCAA Champions
2009-2010 North Carolina 17-16 5-11 T-9th NIT
North Carolina: 193-53 77-35
Total: 611-154

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

[2] [3] [4][5] [6]


  1. ^ Citizen Times Article on Williams
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Game Notes Vs. Villanova". Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  4. ^ "LSU Game Guide". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  5. ^ "Tar Heels Earn No. 1 Seed In NCAA Tournament South Regional". Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  6. ^ "Tar Heels Earn No. 1 Seed In NCAA Tournament South Regional". Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  7. ^ "2009-10 Quick Facts". Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  8. ^ "North Carolina Tar Heels". Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  9. ^ "Nevada Wolfpack vs. North Carolina Tar Heels - Recap". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  10. ^ "Nevada Wolfpack vs. North Carolina Tar Heels - Recap". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  11. ^ - UNC denies Illinois first title, saving it for Roy Williams
  12. ^ "A Tar Heel Triumph: North Carolina Takes Down Michigan State, 89-72". Retrieved 2009-12-8. 
  13. ^ Roy Williams Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame. April 3, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Official Bio
  15. ^ Story on induction into hall of fame
  16. ^ Roy williams induction article
  17. ^ Roy williams induction article
  18. ^ Roy, ACC Have Mixed NCAA History As No. 1
  19. ^ Division I Records
  20. ^ Sports Illustrated article, Should I stay or should I go?
  21. ^ / Staying power: Coach's week in review
  22. ^ - College Basketball - Men - Williams leaves Kansas to take job at UNC - Monday April 14, 2003 11:50 PM
  23. ^
  24. ^ Interview with Roy Williams over his decision to go to North Carolina
  25. ^
  26. ^ / KU reveals NCAA violations
  27. ^ NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions Press Release
  28. ^
  29. ^ - 2005 Sportsman of the Year - My Sportsman Choice: Roy Williams - Monday November 28, 2005 1:10PM
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Video of Williams and Dean Smith discussing induction into hall of fame
  36. ^ ESPN - Williams coach of year for molding young Tar Heels - Men's College Basketball
  37. ^
  38. ^ USA basketball bio
  39. ^ UNC's Williams Is Fastest to 500 Wins

See also

External links

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