Roy Williams Records Career Win No. 880, Passes Dean Smith for 4th All-Time

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2020

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, left, is presented with a photograph of himself with Dean Smith by players Brandon Robinson, center, and Garrison Brooks, right, following an NCAA college basketball game against Yale in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

North Carolina coach Roy Williams earned the 880th win of his career with a 94-71 victory over Miami on Saturday afternoon at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Williams passed former North Carolina coach Dean Smith to move into fourth all-time among Division I men's basketball coaches.

He now trails only Bob Knight (902), Jim Boeheim (958) and the all-time leader, Mike Krzyzewski (1,148).

While it will be difficult for Williams to catch Krzyzewski at No. 1, passing Smith made for a momentous occasion for a man who both played for and was an assistant under the Tar Heels legend.

Williams attempted to downplay the milestone when he tied Smith with a win over Yale on Dec. 30.

"It's a number," the coach said, via ESPN. "It means I stayed around a long time, probably longer than some people wanted me to stay at places."

However, he also clearly holds his mentor in high regard, as he discussed before the start of the season:

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"I'll never be the coach that Coach Smith was," Williams told the ACC Network in October. "... He was the best there ever was on the court and ... he was even better off the court. And I can never match that, so I don't ever put myself in comparison with Coach Smith."

Despite such modesty, the 69-year-old has clearly put himself among the best coaches in basketball history.

Williams guided Kansas to 418 wins with four Final Four appearances in 15 seasons before earning 462 wins at North Carolina, making him the only men's coach in Division I history with at least 400 victories at two different schools, per Daniel Wilco of NCAA.com.

He also earned five Final Four appearances and three national championships during his first 16 years with the Tar Heels, making him one of just six coaches with more than two titles.

The coach was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 and has only added to his resume since then, winning two of his three national titles.

Though the 2019-20 season has been disappointing so far, North Carolina has the ability to add plenty more victories in Williams' 17th year with the program.

The injury-riddled Tar Heels snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 9-10 by defeating Miami.

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