Roy Williams 'Scared to Death' of Next Phase After Retiring as UNC Head Coach

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2021

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Even legends worry about the future sometimes.

"I will always love [coaching] and I'm scared to death of the next phase," Roy Williams told reporters after announcing his retirement as the head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team Thursday.

ACC Men's Basketball @accmbb

"It's been a thrill... No one has ever enjoyed coaching like I have." <br><br>Coach Williams signs off on a legendary 48 year career.@UNC_Basketball | via @accnetwork pic.twitter.com/5gL9jj6tqe

Williams was on the sidelines for the last 48 years, including 33 years as the head coach of the Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks.

There is no doubt Williams is one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time.

The 1972 North Carolina graduate was an assistant coach for the Tar Heels on Dean Smith's staff for 10 years from 1978 to 1988 until he took over the Jayhawks as the head coach. He went 418-101 with Kansas while winning nine regular-season conference crowns, four conference tournament titles and two Big 12 Coach of the Year awards.

He also guided the Jayhawks to four Final Fours.

Williams then returned to his alma mater and went 485-163 in 18 seasons. He won three national championships, made five Final Fours and won nine ACC regular-season championships and three ACC tournament crowns.

Only Mike Krzyzewski (1,170) and Jim Boeheim (1,083) have more career men's basketball coaching wins than Williams' 903.

The 70-year-old was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

While Williams ponders what comes next, the upcoming hire will be a critical one for the Tar Heels. The program is accustomed to competing for national championships and regular Final Four appearances, but UNC went 14-19 in 2019-20 and would have missed the NCAA tournament if there was one.

It also finished a solid but unspectacular 18-11 in the 2020-21 campaign and lost in the first round of the Big Dance to Wisconsin by 23 points.


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