Former Basketball Coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks
Roy Williams retired on April 1, 2021, with the third-most wins by a Division I head coach and the sixth-highest winning percentage in college basketball history. In 43 seasons on the bench as a college head and assistant coach, Williams was part of 1,178 wins in 1,503 games, a win percentage of .784.
Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, Williams was a college head coach for 33 seasons at two of the three winningest programs in the sport’s history. He won 418 games in 15 seasons at Kansas from 1988-2003 and 485 games in 18 seasons at UNC, his alma mater, from 2003-21. He is the second-winningest coach all-time at Carolina and is third at KU. He is the only coach in college basketball history to win 400 games at two schools.
Williams is a member of the NABC College Basketball Hall of Fame, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award (Los Angeles Athletic Club), the Naismith Award for Contributions to the Game, the NABC Foundation Court of Honor, the UNC General Alumni Administration’s Distinguished Service Medal and the UNC Board of Trustees’ William R. Davie Award, for which he was co-honored with his wife, Wanda. The homecourt of the Tar Heels, was officially re-named the Roy Williams Court at the Dean E. Smith Center in 2018.
Williams led UNC to NCAA championships as a head coach in 2005, 2009 and 2017 and was an assistant when the Tar Heels won the title in 1982. He is the only head coach to win three national championships at his alma mater and one of six – with John Wooden, Krzyzewski, Adolph Rupp, Bob Knight and Jim Calhoun – to win at least three titles. Over his last 20 years, Williams’ teams won 54 NCAA Tournament games, more than any other coach in the nation.
Williams ranks with Smith and Krzyzewski as the most accomplished coaches in ACC history, ranking third in wins (485), third in ACC regular-season and Tournament wins (241), third in regular-season ACC titles (9), third in road wins (93), fourth in road winning percentage in league play (.621) and fifth in regular-season winning percentage (.693).
The Asheville, N.C., native won his 900th game when the Tar Heels beat Florida State on February 27, 2021, reaching 900 wins in fewer games and fewer seasons than any other coach in history. His 903rd and final win came against Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on March 11, 2021. He finished his career with a 903-264 record. The 903 wins rank third in wins by a Division I coach behind only Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim and his winning percentage of .774 is sixth all-time, the highest in his 33 seasons among Power 5 conference coaches.