North Carolina: Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams retiring


By AARON BEARD - AP Basketball Writer



North Carolina head coach Roy Williams directs players during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams directs players during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)


North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after a turnover during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)


North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, center, talks with his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


North Carolina announced Thursday that Hall of Fame basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring after a 33-year career that includes three national championships.

The decision comes two weeks after Williams closed his 18th season with the Tar Heels and a highly successful run at Kansas before that. Williams won 903 games in a career that included those three national championships with the Tar Heels in 2005, 2009 and 2017.

UNC lost to Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in his final game, which was Williams’ only first-round loss in 30 tournaments.

Williams spent 10 seasons at his alma mater as an assistant coach to late mentor Dean Smith before leaving to take over the Jayhawks program in 1988. He spent 15 seasons there, taking Kansas to four Final Fours and two national title games.

He passed on taking over at UNC in 2000 after the retirement of Bill Guthridge, but ultimately couldn’t say no a second time and returned as coach in 2003. Two years later, he broke through for his first national championship in the first of five Final Fours with the Tar Heels.

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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams directs players during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/04/web1_126454383-c59835d85a254d07bdb46f1a4f8a9ad9.jpgNorth Carolina head coach Roy Williams directs players during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after a turnover during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/04/web1_126454383-4279f3fb4c294f66a270df9b5a0d8591.jpgNorth Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts after a turnover during the second half of a first-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, center, talks with his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/04/web1_126454383-8ab2c1c1d2014b249c011a64da6773c2.jpgNorth Carolina head coach Roy Williams, center, talks with his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

By AARON BEARD

AP Basketball Writer