Roy Williams is a Hall of Famer who racked up 903 wins over 33 seasons as a college head coach. He earned the right to walk away on his own terms.
With that said, man, he could have picked a better day to drop this bomb on us.
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North Carolina’s official men’s basketball Twitter account caused a stir Thursday morning when it sent out a press release announcing that Williams has retired from coaching. The 70-year-old is scheduled to address the media during a 4 p.m. ET news conference on Thursday.
ESPN analyst Dick Vitale spoke for everyone when he tweeted, “I thought it was [an] April Fools’ joke, but it is true.”
The initial doubt was understandable given the date, but Tar Heels big man Armando Bacot confirmed the announcement was real.
Williams had been “frustrated with the direction that college basketball is headed,” according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, who reported that Williams grew concerned about the increase in transfers and the ongoing battle over Name, Images and Likenesses (NIL). It’s possible that Williams was previously considering retirement and those issues pushed him toward the door.
In 18 seasons at North Carolina, Williams went 485-163 and captured national championships in 2005, 2009 and 2017. He coached Kansas for 15 seasons prior to his UNC tenure, finishing with a 418-101 record and four Final Four appearances.
With 903 total victories, Williams ranks third on the Division I all-time wins list behind only Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim. He is the only coach in NCAA history with 400 wins at two different schools.
Mark Kleinman is city editor, breaking major business stories and analysing what they mean for the financial sector.
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Mark was awarded the London Press Club Business Journalist of the Year in 2011.