TUESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2004
Williams accepts 2nd chance at UNC
Former Smith assistant takes reins
BY AARON FITT
APRIL 14 Almost two weeks
after former UNC basketball coach
Matt Doherty resigned, Roy
Williams fiew to Chapel Hill to
become UNC’s next head basket
Williams will be the third coach
in the seven years since Dean
Smith’s retirement. A half-hour
after he was expected and 15 years
after he first left, Roy Williams
returned to Chapel Hill at 9 p.m.
The former Kansas coach was
greeted at Horace Williams
Airport with a handshake first
by his new boss, North Carolina
Director of Athletics Dick
Baddour, then by his old boss, for
mer Tar Heel coach Dean Smith.
The three men led a group of
about a dozen into four cars head
ed for the Smith Center, where
Williams was introduced as UNC’s
new men’s basketball coach at a 10
p.m. press conference.
Williams entered the Smith
Center’s practice gym to a standing
ovation from the assembled boost
ers in the back and the UNC play
ers in the front. He sat down,
smiled, thanked his new team for
its applause and then thanked his
old team for its dedication.
“There’s no doubt that I’m excit
ed to be here, or I wouldn’t be here,”
Williams said. “But other than a
serious injury or death to my fami
ly, I’ve never had anything more dif
ficult than what I went through this
afternoon talking with my team,
telling those 13 young men (at
Kansas) that I was leaving them.”
Before long, Williams was
addressing a different group of
players with a sense of possession.
“Hopefully my players won’t go
to sleep over there,” he said as he
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prepared to discuss his coaching
roots and his joint loyalty to
Kansas and North Carolina.
Williams, a 1972 UNC graduate
who played on the 1968-69 Tar
Heel freshman team, was an assis
tant to Smith from 1978-88. He
left Chapel Hill to take over a
Jayhawk program on probation,
and he built it into a near-replica
of Smith’s UNC dynasty.
Williams compiled a 418-101
record in 15 seasons at Kansas. He
won at least 20 games in 14 of
those seasons and laid claim to the
highest winning percentage
among active Division I coaches
with at least six years’ experience.
Baddour said Williams is
“uniquely qualified” for the UNC
job both because of his accom
plishments at Kansas and his Tar
“It’s a good day,” Baddour said.
“Our players, our fans and the
University of North Carolina should
have the best coach in America to
lead our men’s basketball program.
Tonight I have the privilege of intro
ducing you to that person.”
Williams learned his trade in
Chapel Hill but became a master
craftsman in Lawrence, Kan.
“I was a Tar Heel bom,” Williams
said. “When I die, I’ll be a Tar Heel
dead. But in the middle, I was a Tar
Heel and a Jayhawk bred.”
Williams said his love for
Kansas drew him to the very brink
of calling Baddour to say he was
staying in Lawrence twice.
“I got up a couple nights throw
ing up because I am emotional,”
Williams said. “I’ve never stopped
loving North Carolina.”
That’s ultimately why he made
the decision to replace his friend
Matt Doherty, who resigned as
UNC coach April 1. Williams said
he made up his mind Sunday on
Year in Review
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DTH FILE PHOTO/BRIAN CASSELLA
Coach Roy Williams enters the Smith Center floor to a standing ovation and throws t-shirts reading "Carolina Basketball & Chapel Hill —Worth
Coming Home For" to students before his first game as coach of the Tar Heels on Nov. 22. The Tar Heels beat Old Dominion, 90-64, in the game.
the plane from the Wooden Award
ceremony in Los Angeles to Kansas.
He called Baddour at 9:30 a.m.
“I called and said, ‘lf you want
me to be the head coach at the
University of North Carolina, I’ll
come,*” Williams said.
Along with Williams, five Kansas
assistants will come to UNC unless
ACC adds Boston College, ends expansion saga
BY BRIAN MACPHERSON
OCT. 12 A long and contro
versial expansion effort on the part
of the Atlantic Coast Conference
came to an end Sunday when the
Boston College president
announced he had accepted a
membership invitation from the
The announcement by the Rev.
William Leahy completed a
process that has seen the confer
ence grow from nine teams to 12,
the number required to hold a
lucrative football conference
cated right on
one of them gets a job elsewhere.
Williams said he hopes assistant
coach Joe Holladay will be a candi
date for the vacated job at KU, and
he implied that he might offer for
mer Smith assistant Phil Ford a job
if Holladay doesn’t come to UNC.
Williams will receive an annual
salary of $260,000 for eight years.
His contract contains bonuses for
championship game by the NCAA.
It is not yet clear, though, when
BC officially will become a member
of the ACC —and thus, when the
conference will be able to hold
such a game.
The ACC Council of Presidents
unanimously voted to invite
Boston College in a conference call
Sunday morning, and the school
announced that it had accepted the
invitation within hours.
“Our decision to join the
Atlantic Coast Conference is based
on my judgment in terms of what
is in the best interest of Boston
NCAA Tournament appearances,
Elite Eight appearances and
achieving a graduation rate equal
to that of the student body.
Baddour said the multimedia
aspects of the contract, which
make up the bulk of the coach’s
income, have yet to be worked out.
But it was clear Monday that
Williams’ decision to come to North
College academically, athletically
and financially,” Leahy said at a
Conference officials enthusiasti
cally welcomed the Eagles as the
ACC’s newest member.
“Our presidents and chancellors
are very impressed with Boston
College, not only with the quality
and breadth of their athletic pro
grams but also with their excellent
academic success and reputation,”
said James Barker, Clemson
University president and chairman
of the Council of Presidents, in a
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Carolina had little to do with money.
“I came back because I thought it
was the right thing to do,” Williams
said, adding that Smith played a
role in his decision. “The respect I
have for Coach Smith it’s hard for
me to say no to him twice.”
Contact the Sports Editor
The expansion process began in
May as conference officials target
ed Boston College, Miami and
Syracuse in an effort to increase
the prestige of ACC football.
But in an unexpected turn of
events, the ACC offered invitations
to only Miami and Virginia Tech,
leaving the conference one team
short of the required number for a
football championship game.
“Eleven was in one sense an
incomplete pass, if you will, and
some thought even an awkward
organization,” said UNC-Chapel
Hill Chancellor James Moeser.
“Twelve works better. Twelve obvi
ously gets you to a football champi
onship, which has a major impact
on the health of the conference.”
Rumors swirled in late
September about Notre Dame
possibly being incorporated into
the ACC on a gradual basis, a
process that eventually would have
included the Fighting Irish’s inde
pendent football team.
But Notre Dame officials vehe
mently denied any interest, which
forced ACC leaders to look else
where for the coveted final team.
They found a willing partner in BC.
“The ACC is a strong, stable
conference, and membership in it
secures the future of our intercol
legiate athletics program,” Leahy
The announcement ends the
expansion saga and the bizarre
sequence of events involved.
“When the process started, our
point of view was that we have a
strong conference and there was
n’t any need to expand,” said Dick
Baddour, UNC-CH director of
athletics. “I’d say that the process
was extremely difficult and awk
ward at times.”
Contact the Sports Editor