For the past 18 years, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been fortunate to have Roy Williams coach its men’s basketball team. During his tenure at UNC, he won three national championships, three ACC championships and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. Most Tar Heel fans could rattle off these impressive accomplishments, but the revered coach’s impact on the local community is perhaps his biggest legacy.
Roy Williams grew up in Asheville, North Carolina where he picked up his signature accent and beloved colloquialisms. He attended the University of North Carolina and played on the freshmen basketball team, closely studying the coaching style of the legendary Dean Smith. After graduating and starting his career as a high school basketball coach, Williams returned to campus in 1978 to be Coach Smith’s assistant coach.
Upon his return to Chapel Hill, Williams, his wife Wanda and their one-year-old son Scott settled into a two-bedroom apartment at Glen Lennox. Finding the location convenient to campus, affordable and very family friendly, when daughter Kimberly arrived the next year, they chose to stay in the community and moved one door down to a larger three-bedroom unit.
Eventually opportunity called and Williams was recruited to coach at Kansas University, where he went on to win nine regular-season conference championships and was the runner up in two NCAA championship games. In 2003, UNC recruited him back to his home state, this time as the head coach.
Not only did Coach Williams lead an impressive program on the court, he held his players to high standards and emphasized the importance of academics, improving the graduation success rate of student-athletes during his tenure. Around Chapel Hill, he and his wife had a profound impact, donating $3 million to the University to support scholarships and giving an additional $600,000 in funds to provide an extra year of eligibility for spring sports athletes who had their 2020 season cut short due to COVID-19.
On April 1, 2021, Roy Williams announced his retirement — marking the end of an era, but also turning the page on an exciting new chapter.
Welcome Hubert Davis to your new role — head coach of the Tar Heels men’s basketball team! Having played for UNC from 1988-1992 under Dean Smith and serving as the assistant coach under Williams for the past nine years, he is a natural choice to carry on Carolina’s basketball legacy.
Davis’s appointment to head coach is a significant moment in UNC’s history. He is the first Black men’s basketball coach at the University and only the fourth Black head coach to lead any of the school’s athletics teams. Also as a former player, he is the fourth Tar Heel to become the team’s coach.
All of us at Glen Lennox want to thank Roy Williams for his significant impact on the Chapel Hill community and the wonderful memories he has given us; and we’re also sending a warm welcome to Hubert Davis and wishing him continued success with the Tar Heels. And Coach Davis, if any of your assistants need a great place to live, we’re just down the road and eager to launch the next Carolina coaching legend.