Roy Williams (coach)
|The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (December 2014)|
File:Roy Williams coach.jpg|
Williams at a North Carolina press conference
|Team||North Carolina Tar Heels|
August 1, 1950|
Marion, North Carolina
|1968–1969||North Carolina (J.V.)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Black Mountain Owen HS|
North Carolina (assistant)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
2 NCAA Division I Tournament Championship (2005, 2009)
7 NCAA Regional Championships - Final Four (1991, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009)
2 ACC Tournament Championships (2007, 2008)
6 ACC Regular Season Championships (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
3 Big 12 Tournament Championships (1997, 1998, 1999)
4 Big 12 Regular Season Championships (1997, 1998, 2002, 2003)
1 Big Eight Tournament Championship (1992)
5 Big Eight Regular Season Championships (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)
Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2007
College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2006
Roy Allen Williams (born August 1, 1950) is a college basketball coach, who is currently the head coach of the men's North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He first started his college coaching career at University of North Carolina as an assistant coach for Dean Smith in 1978. In 1988, Williams became the head coach of the men's basketball team at University of Kansas, where he took them to fourteen consecutive NCAA tournaments, collecting an 80% win percentage, and winning nine conference titles over his fifteen year span at Kansas. In 2003, Williams left Kansas to go back home to be the head coach at North Carolina replacing Matt Doherty. While Williams has been at North Carolina he has won six ACC conference titles, two ACC Coach of the Year awards in 2006 and 2011. He is second all-time for most wins at Kansas behind Phog Allen and at North Carolina behind mentor Dean Smith. Additionally, he is eighth all-time in the NCAA for winning percentage. Williams has over 700 career wins and is the fastest to reach this milestone to date. Williams has taken his teams to seven Final Fours in his careers at Kansas and North Carolina and is one of only two coaches (along with Rick Pitino) in NCAA history to have led two different programs to at least three Final Fours each.  On April 4, 2005, Williams shed his title as "the most successful coach to never have won an NCAA ring" as his Tar Heels defeated the University of Illinois in the 2005 NCAA championship game. In 2007, Williams was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He would again lead the Tar Heels to another National Championship victory on April 6, 2009 against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2009 NCAA championship game.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Early coaching years
- 3 Head coach at Kansas
- 4 Head coach at North Carolina
- 5 Professional players coached
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Awards
- 8 Head coaching record
- 9 Coaching tree
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Williams was born in Marion General Hospital in Marion, North Carolina, 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, where he grew up. Williams lettered in basketball and baseball at T. C. Roberson High School near Asheville all four years. 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. Williams has stated that Coach Baldwin was one of the biggest influences in his life.
Williams went on to play on the freshman 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. Williams also volunteered to keep statistics for Smith at home games and worked in Smith's summer camps.
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 Black Mountain, N.C. 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.
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 won the 1988 NCAA championship. Weeks after Williams took the position, KU was placed on probation for violations that took place prior to his arrival. As a result, the Jayhawks were barred from postseason play for the 1988-89 season. After Williams left for KU, the school was put on probation again for violations in its men's basketball program. The NCAA said that boosters gave graduation gifts to outgoing players before and after they graduated, a fact that Roy Williams was aware of.
Williams coached 15 seasons at Kansas (from 1988–2003). During that time he had a record of 418–101, a .805 winning percentage. He is second on the Jayhawks' all time win list behind Phog Allen. 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.
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). 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. Entering the NCAA Tournament with Pollard (foot stress fracture) and starting shooting guard (later Kansas and UNC assistant coach, and current head coach at Alabama-Birmingham) Jerod Haase (broken wrist) trying to play with injuries, the team was upset in the Sweet Sixteen by the eventual champion, Arizona Wildcats.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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."
Williams ended up accepting the North Carolina head coaching position following the controversial three-year run of Matt Doherty, who prior to coaching at North Carolina had been an assistant at KU under Williams.
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 led North Carolina to a National Championship in 2005—his first as a head coach. After winning the championship, the team's top seven scorers all left, either via graduation or opting to go to the NBA early. 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 had vertigo, a condition that occasionally forces him to sit down suddenly during games.
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. As a result of Memphis' 2008 season being wiped from the books due to NCAA sanctions, the 2007-08 Tar Heels "officially" have the second-most single-season wins in Division I history.
With Tyler Hansbrough returning to Chapel Hill for his senior season, they were tapped by numerous prognosticators as the favorites to win the NCAA championship. The Heels started the season #1 in both polls—including the first-ever unanimous preseason #1 ranking in the history of the AP Poll—becoming the first team to have back-to-back preseason #1 rankings since UNLV in 1991. 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 had 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 in Detroit, Michigan. An 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. This capped off one of the most dominating runs in the history of the tournament. The Tar Heels only trailed for a total of 10 minutes out of a possible 240 minutes of playing time. They also won every game by at least 12 points—all the more remarkable since they upended four teams in the top 15 of the final AP Poll (#10 Gonzaga, #7 Oklahoma, #11 Villanova and #8 Michigan State).
The 2009–2010 season was disappointing for North Carolina. They finished the regular season at 16–15, dropped to #3 in all-time wins, 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—the only time in Williams' coaching career that his team didn't take part in that tournament when eligible to do so. However, they did receive a bid to the NIT. Tar Heels made it all the way to the NIT Championship game which was played on April 1, 2010 at Madison Square Garden versus Dayton. Tar Heels lost with the score of 79–68 bringing their overall tally at 20–17 for 2009–10 season. This 20-win season however kept Roy's streak of 20 win seasons alive. Roy Williams stated that the season was "the biggest frustration and the biggest disappointment of my professional life.". In addition to frustrating play, Roy Williams was criticized for comparing the 2009–10 season to the disaster in Haiti by stating, "Our massage therapist told me, she said 'You know, Coach, what happened in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you're having is a disappointment.' And I told her that depends on which chair she was sitting in, because it does feel like a catastrophe to me, and that's because it is my life." Roy Williams later apologized for his comments, stating that he misspoke and "neglected to say that it puts basketball in perspective."
The Tar Heels started out slow during the 2010–11 season, dropping early games to Minnesota, Vanderbilt, and Illinois, and also being blown out by twenty points at Georgia Tech. It was not until Williams made the difficult decision to start freshman point guard Kendall Marshall over junior Larry Drew II that the Tar Heels returned to their dominant winning ways. The Heels won the ACC Regular Season Championship after beating Duke in their final regular season game in Chapel Hill. It was Carolina's fifth ACC Regular Season title in eight years under Coach Williams. However, Carolina lost to Duke a week later in the ACC Tournament Championship game. Coach Williams was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year for the second time since becoming head coach at North Carolina for overcoming the adversity of losing some players to transfer and dismissal and winning the ACC regular season title. After defeating Long Island, Washington, and Marquette, the Heels (29–8, 14–2) lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite 8.
The 2011–12 season for the Tar Heels was more successful despite numerous injuries to key players. With losses to UNLV, Kentucky as well as a 33-point defeat against Florida State, Williams guided his Heels to another ACC Regular Season Championship after defeating Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium to close out the regular season (Duke won the first meeting in Chapel Hill). UNC entered the 2012 ACC Tournament as the #1 seed. The Heels beat Maryland in the quarterfinals and NC State in the semifinals. John Henson injured his wrist in the Maryland game and did not play in the semifinals or championship game where UNC lost to Florida State, 85-83. UNC was then awarded the #1 seed in the Midwest bracket of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Without Henson, Dexter Strickland and sixth-man Leslie McDonald (who were both sidelined with season-ending injuries) Carolina beat Vermont in the second round of the Tournament. Henson returned to the lineup for the third-round game against Creighton. The Heels defeated Creighton, however starting PG Kendall Marshall injured his wrist in the second half of that game. Marshall had to undergo surgery and was unable to play for the rest of the season. Carolina turned to first-year PG Stilman White who helped lead the Heels to an OT win over the Ohio Bobcats in the Sweet 16. Carolina then faced #2 seed Kansas in the Elite 8. Greatly undermanned, the Heels played Kansas close but Kansas pulled ahead late for the win. Roy Williams' 2011-2012 team finished the season with a record of 32-6, 14-2 in the ACC.
The 2012-2013 season for Roy Williams and his Tar Heels was a great surprise with respect to a new starting lineup in the latter half of the season. Unlike traditional Carolina teams, the Heels played more guard heavy and relied mostly on their perimeter game to score points. Coach Williams reached 700 total NCAA career head coaching victories after the Tar Heels beat Villanova in the 2nd round of the tournament. Unfortunately, the Tar Heels were not able to advance after a 70-58 loss to Kansas in the 3rd round. It marked the third time Carolina lost to the Jayhawks during March Madness since 2008. The Tar Heels completed their season with 25 wins and 11 losses (overall) including 12 wins and six losses against conference opponents.
The 2014-2015 season for the Tar Heels was supposed to be a success. With Wooden Award candidate Marcus Paige  coming back for his junior season, it seemed as though this team was going to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. With early season losses to unranked Butler and Iowa, the Tar Heels intensity and strength was questioned. The Tar Heels grabbed a four seed in the NCAA Tournament with wins against Harvard and Arkansas, but eventually ended their run with a loss to Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. The Tar Heels finished their season 26-12 with an 11-7 ACC record. 
Professional players coached
Williams and his wife, Wanda, also a 1972 Carolina graduate, have a son, Scott, and a daughter, Kimberly. They also have five Godchildren, four boys and one girl. 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.
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 discusses his life, including that of his difficult childhood, the highs and lows of his successful coaching career and the difficult and agonizing decision to leave Kansas for North Carolina in 2003.
Williams had surgery September 19, 2012 to remove a tumor from his right kidney.
- Big Eight Coach of the Year (1990, 1992, 1995, 1996)
- Henry Iba Award (1990, 2006)
- 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.
- Naismith College Coach of the Year (1997)
- Big 12 Coach of the Year (1997, 2002, 2003)
- John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award (2003)
- ACC Coach of the Year (2006, 2011)
- Roy Williams was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on April 1, 2007.
- Williams was named by Forbes as America's Best College Basketball Coach in February 2009
- Sporting News named Williams Coach of the Decade for the 2000s.
- In December 2009 Seth Davis at Sports Illustrated nominated Williams as one of the coaches of the decade.
Head coaching record
Several former players and assistant coaches of Williams have gone on to their own careers in coaching.
- Matt Doherty - Notre Dame (1999–2000), North Carolina (2000–03), FAU (2005–06), SMU (2006–2012)
- Neil Dougherty - TCU (2002–08)
- Blake Flickner - Dallas Baptist (2006–present)
- Jerry Green - Oregon (1992–97), Tennessee (1997–2001)
- Ben Miller - UNC Pembroke (2008–present)
- Steve Robinson- Tulsa (1995–97), Florida State (1997–2002)
- Kevin Stallings - Illinois State (1993–99), Vanderbilt (1999–present)
- Mark Turgeon - Jacksonville State (1998–2000), Wichita State (2000–07), Texas A&M (2007–11), Maryland (2011–present)
- Jerod Haase* - UAB (2012–present)
- Wes Miller - UNCG (2011–present)
- Jacque Vaughn - Orlando Magic (2012–2015)
- Rex Walters - FAU (2006–08), San Francisco (2008–present)
(*) indicates a former player also served as an assistant coach to Williams.
- List of college men's basketball coaches with 600 wins
- List of NCAA Men's Division I Final Four appearances by coach
- Carolina, North. "The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill". www.unc.edu. UNC.
- records, NCAA. "Coaching Records" (PDF). ncaa.org. NCAA.
- Dodd, Dennis. "Vintage Roy Williams in win No. 700". CBSSports.com.
- ""Game Notes Vs. Villanova"" (PDF). Tarheelblue.com.
- Jack, Carey. "UNC, Williams grasp title". USA Today.
- "Roy Williams Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame". WRAL.com.
- Leung, Diamond (2012-03-08). "Birthplace marker honors Roy Williams - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Official Bio
- Story on induction into hall of fame
- Roy williams induction article
- Kansas on probation for violations in men's hoops
- Roy, ACC Have Mixed NCAA History As No. 1
- Division I Records
- Sports Illustrated article, Should I stay or should I go?
- LJWorld.com / Staying power: Coach's week in review
- "Williams leaves Kansas to take job at alma mater UNC". CNN. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Archived October 15, 2003 at the Wayback Machine
- Interview with Roy Williams over his decision to go to North Carolina
- "SI.com - My Sportsman Choice: Roy Williams - Nov 28, 2005". CNN. November 28, 2005. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Tjarks, Jonathan (2012-03-12). "NBA News, Rumors, NCAA Basketball, Euroleague". RealGM. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- "Men's Basketball - Schedule - University of North Carolina Tar Heels Official Athletic Site". Tarheelblue.cstv.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Archived April 8, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "For UNC's Roy Williams, season is 'biggest disappointment'". Charlotte Observer. March 9, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- "Williams: UNC losing like Haiti 'catastrophe'". ESPN. February 10, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- "UNC's Williams apologizes for Haiti reference.". Fox News. February 12, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- "Preseason Wooden Award watch list released". Retrieved 2015-04-06.
- "North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball 2014-15 Schedule - Tar Heels Home and Away - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
- Pickeral, Robbi. "Add 'author' to Roy Williams' titles - College". NewsObserver.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Beard, Aaron. "UNC's Roy Williams has surgery for kidney tumor". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- ESPN - Williams coach of year for molding young Tar Heels - Men's College Basketball
- Video of Williams and Dean Smith discussing induction into hall of fame
- Burke, Monte (February 24, 2009). "America's Best College Basketball Coaches". Forbes.
- "Hansbrough, Williams Honored By Sporting News". Tar Heel Blue. September 24, 2009.
- "College basketball: Highlights and lowlights of the decade". CNN. December 16, 2009.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roy Williams (coach).|
Lua error in Module:Authority_control at line 346: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).