CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina—Roy Williams retired Thursday after 18 years as North Carolina's head men's basketball coach. The Tar Heels found a replacement Monday afternoon, hiring assistant Hubert Davis, as 247Sports affiliate Inside Carolina and CBS Sports college basketball insider, Jon Rothstein and the program subsequently announced.
"I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,'' Davis said. "I would not be here without coach Dean Smith, coach Bill Guthridge and coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much — and I'm eager to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality. I also would not be here without chancellor Guskiewicz and (athletic director) Bubba Cunningham. I appreciate their faith in me and I look forward to working closely with them.
"I love this university. I played here, I earned my degree here, I fell in love with my wife here, I got married here, I moved here after I retired from the NBA and I have raised my family here. I am proud to lead this team, and I can't wait for all that comes next."
Davis, 50, has been an assistant with UNC since the 2012 season. He spent his playing career at North Carolina from 1988-92 and was a first-round pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks at No. 20 overall. Davis' playing career in the NBA included stops with the Knicks (1992-96), Toronto Raptors (1996-97), Dallas Mavericks (1997-01), Washington Wizards (2001-02), Detroit Pistons (2002-04) and New Jersey Nets (2004). After a stint as an ESPN college basketball analyst starting in 2008, Davis joined Williams' staff in 2012.
"Hubert Davis is the best leader we can possibly have for our men's basketball program," Cunningham said. "He teaches student-athletes on and off the court. He inspires his fellow staff members. He is strongly committed to family. He has a tenacious, burning desire to be the best he can possibly be; we witnessed that when he was a player, a broadcaster and an assistant coach – and I have no doubt he will ensure than our student-athletes and program will be the best they can be, as well."
UNC's success under Williams, 70, leaves big shoes to fill. Williams went 485-163 overall and 212-94 against ACC play at North Carolina from 2003-21, reaching 16 of 17 possible NCAA tournaments, making five Final Fours and winning three national championships.
At his retirement press conference Thursday, Williams explained why he was walking away. The Tar Heels posted an 18-11 (10-6) result in 2020-21.
"I'm all in for going to baseball parks with the grandkids, but the biggest reason we're having this meeting is I just don't feel that I'm the right man any longer," Williams said. "I love coaching, working with kids on the court, the locker room, the trips, the jump-around music, the trying to build a team — I will always love that and I'm scared to death of the next phase — but I no longer feel that I'm the right man."