Roy Williams

About Me

Roy Williams was born 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 in Asheville all four years. Williams went on to play on the freshman team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study the game under coach Dean Smith.

Williams’ first coaching job was in 1973 as a high school basketball and golf coach at Charles D. Owen High School in Black Mountain, North Carolina. He coached basketball and boys’ golf for five years and 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 from 1978 to 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 the second for North Carolina. One of Williams’ more notable events came as assistant coach when he became instrumental in recruiting Michael Jordan.

In 1988, Williams became the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Kansas, taking them to fourteen consecutive NCAA tournaments, collecting a .805 win percentage and winning nine conference titles over his fifteen-year span.

In 2003, Williams left Kansas to return to his alma mater North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Williams has won three national championships and eight Atlantic Coast Conference conference titles. He is second all-time for most wins at both Kansas (behind Phog Allen) and North Carolina (behind mentor Dean Smith). His teams have won 816 NCAA Division I basketball games.

Williams has taken his teams to nine Final Fours in his careers at Kansas and North Carolina. He is the only coach in NCAA history to have led two different programs to at least four Final Fours each and the only basketball coach in NCAA history to have 350 or more victories at two NCAA Division 1 schools.  Williams is one of six NCAA Men’s Division I college basketball coaches to have won at least three national championships (2005, 2009, and 2017).

In 2006, Williams was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame. The following year, in 2007, Williams was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.


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