Just Short of 20 Seasons, Williams Joins Hall of Fame

UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams ’72 learned at the 2007 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta that he will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Williams is the Carolina program’s eighth coach or player to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The others are coaches Dean Smith, Ben Carnevale and Frank McGuire and players Robert McAdoo ’75, Larry Brown ’63, Billy Cunningham ’65 and James Worthy ’85.

“I’ve lived a charmed life, I really have,” Williams told the media.

Williams is in his fourth season as UNC’s head coach and in his 19th year as a college head coach. His team won the national championship in his second year back in Chapel Hill.

He won 418 games in 15 seasons at Kansas and has tallied 106 wins at UNC. Williams has a .800 career winning percentage.

From 1978-88, Williams served as an assistant coach under Smith. The Tar Heels played in the NCAA Tournament in each of Williams’ 10 seasons.

Smith has called Williams “the whole package of what you want as a college head coach. . He’s like Tiger Woods in golf. . I certainly consider him to be the best college coach in the country.”

Williams’ formal induction ceremony will be Sept. 7. His class includes Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, the 1966 NCAA champions from Texas Western University (now UTEP), coach Van Chancellor of Ole Miss and the WNBA Houston Comets, referee Mendy Rudolph and international coaches Fedro Ferrandiz of Spain and Mirko Novosel of the former Yugoslavia.

Related coverage is available online:

  • The Family Circuit: He bought into the notion of the “Carolina Family” without reservation and he exported it. He balked once at the gates of Chapel Hill, then said yes to the second chance he thought would never come.
    From the July/August 2003 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to Carolina Alumni members.

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