UNC to name Smith Center floor for Roy Williams
CHAPEL HILL, NC (WWAY) — The University of North Carolina announced Thursday it will name its basketball court for longtime head coach Roy Williams.
The floor dedication will occur during a ceremony at the Dean E. Smith Center on August 24 during what will also serve as a men’s basketball reunion.
Williams has won three national championships with the Tar Heels, the last coming in 2017.
“From the time I first met Coach, I have been touched by his commitment to the success of his players and his belief in their capacity to dream big and accomplish even bigger,” says Chancellor Carol L. Folt.
“Generations of Carolina Basketball fans have witnessed the result of his teaching and love for his players on the court, but that is only part of his story as he cares so much and helps in so many ways here at Carolina and across our state. Naming the court for Coach Williams expresses our gratitude to this very special and much-admired Tar Heel.”
Williams, an Asheville native, graduated from UNC in 1972 and later earned a master’s degree from his alma mater.
He has coached basketball for 45 years – five years at Owen High School and 40 at the collegiate level. He was an assistant to Smith at Carolina for 10 years and has been the head coach at Kansas and Carolina for 15 years apiece.
“Coach Williams is one of college basketball’s greatest coaches ever,” says Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham.
“But I’ve come to see that the measure of the man is his integrity, his honesty, the manner in which he relates to and supports his players and the love he has for the University of North Carolina. He didn’t want this honor, but his players and our staff wanted it for him, and that says so much about why we will forever celebrate the game of basketball at Carolina on Roy Williams Court.”
Williams was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. He has led the Tar Heels to three NCAA championships, five Final Fours and eight regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference championships and three ACC Tournament titles.
He is one of six coaches to win three or more NCAA men’s basketball championships, joining John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun, Bob Knight and Adolph Rupp.
The Tar Heels are 424-126 under Williams in his first 15 seasons, including a 210-30 record at the Smith Center.