fog.png
Wednesday December 8th, 2021 11:36AM

Tar Heels turn attention to hiring Williams' successor

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

North Carolina now faces the challenge of finding Roy Williams’ successor.

The Hall of Fame coach is retiring from the Tar Heels’ storied men’s basketball program, opening the job for the first time in nearly two decades. That leaves athletics director Bubba Cunningham directing the highest-profile coaching search of his nearly decade-long tenure at UNC, with Williams set to have at least some input.

“I believe we’ve got the best job in college basketball,” Cunningham said. “This job doesn’t come open very often. We need to spend a great deal of time thinking about who is the right person right now.”

Williams announced his retirement Thursday, saying he no longer felt like “the right man” for the job over the past two difficult seasons. That ends an 18-season run that included three NCAA titles since he returned to his alma mater after a 15-year run at Kansas.

In a virtual news conference Thursday night, Cunningham said he and chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz would handle the process instead of using a search committee. He said he has sought input from a numerous former players as well as Williams, who Cunningham said had already shared his opinion.

Williams mentioned that, too, during his news conference earlier Thursday.

“I’m putting a lot of load on he and the chancellor’s shoulders because I’m giving my opinion very strongly about what I want to happen with the program,” Williams said.

Cunningham said he prefers head-coaching experience but it isn't required. The same is true of hiring someone with UNC ties, which worked with longtime assistant Bill Guthridge taking over after Dean Smith's 1997 retirement and Williams’ return in 2003 – but didn’t work during the tumultuous tenure of Matt Doherty after Williams turned turned down the job following Guthridge's retirement in 2000.

There are experienced coaches with strong program connections, such as UNC Greensboro's Wes Miller, who played on Williams' 2005 NCAA championship team; Stanford's Jerod Haase, who coached under Williams at UNC; and Hubert Davis, who played for Dean Smith and has spent the past nine seasons on Williams' staff.

“The history and tradition here is winning,” Cunningham said. “We’ve had it in the family for a long period of time. That is important. But it’s not the only factor in trying to make a decision like this.”

Cunningham said there is no specific timetable, though he noted UNC moved quickly in hiring Mack Brown for a second stint as football coach after firing Larry Fedora in a process taking only a few days in November 2018. He mentioned an urgency for a new coach to deal with large numbers of college players pursuing transfers, a list that includes UNC freshman 7-footer Walker Kessler.

“It’s going to be a very different environment in coaching, recruiting and retaining students to play on the team,” Cunningham said. “And quite frankly, college basketball is better when North Carolina is good. We need to be good and we’re committed to being good. And now we have to find the right leader that can maintain the standards that we’ve become accustomed to.”

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

___

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tar Heels turn attention to hiring Williams' successor
North Carolina now faces the challenge of finding Roy Williams’ successor
2:12AM ( 20 minutes ago )
At last, Oladipo finally gets his chance to play with Heat
Victor Oladipo got swept out of the first round of the playoffs last season by Miami, and when that series concluded he had no doubt the Heat would end up in the NBA Finals
2:03AM ( 28 minutes ago )
A different Augusta National await newcomers from November
The Masters features only six players, three of them amateurs, who have never played in the Masters
1:55AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Opening Day: Snow, stars, fans and a virus postponement
Opening day in Major League Baseball saw All-Stars on the field and fans back in the stands
12:15AM ( 2 hours ago )
What cold? Frigid temps can't stop joy as fans return to MLB
Even in the freezing cold, it was hard to dim the joy for fans across Major League Baseball
11:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Capela, Young guide Hawks past Spurs 134-129 in 2 OT
Clint Capela had 28 points and 17 rebounds, Trae Young had 28 points and 12 assists, and the Atlanta Hawks overcame two late meltdowns to beat the San Antonio Spurs 134-129 in double overtime
11:42PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams retiring after 33-year run
North Carolina Hall of Fame basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring
7:19PM ( 7 hours ago )
Players hear 'a lot of talk' from Emmert about Title IX, NIL
Three men's college basketball players say they heard “a lot of talk” from NCAA President Mark Emmert during a video call to discuss their concerns
5:43PM ( 8 hours ago )
In AP survey, ADs raise worries about women's college sports
A new AP survey of athletic directors and conversations with ADs and conference commissioners during March Madness show concern about what would happen to women's college sports under proposals that would put more money in the pockets of some athletes
5:03PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
AP college sports survey: ADs on revenue sharing, Title IX
The Associated Press asked 357 Division I athletic directors a series of questions about the effects the potential changes to the way athletes are compensated in addition to scholarships would have on college sports
11:01AM ( 15 hours ago )
High court sympathetic to college athletes in NCAA dispute
The Supreme Court seems sympathetic to college athletes in a dispute with the NCAA over rules limiting their education-related compensation
5:04PM ( 1 day ago )
UConn's Paige Bueckers is AP women's player of the year
UConn star Paige Bueckers is the first freshman ever to win The Associated Press women's basketball player of the year
4:01PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Quite a show: Zags stay undefeated with 85-66 win over USC
Gonzaga got on a roll and put on a show, moving to 30-0 on the season and cruising into the Final Four with an 85-66 victory against Southern California
12:12AM ( 2 days ago )
Baylor beats Arkansas 81-72 for first Final Four in 71 years
Baylor reached the Final Four for the first time in 71 years, getting 22 points from MaCio Teague and a dominating defensive performance from Davion Mitchell to beat Arkansas 81-72
2:34AM ( 2 days ago )
Houston tops Oregon State, reaches 1st Final Four since '84
Houston overcame a blown 17-point lead to hold off Oregon State 67-61 in the NCAA Tournament and reach the Final Four for the first time in 37 years
12:19AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
At last, Oladipo finally gets his chance to play with Heat
Victor Oladipo got swept out of the first round of the playoffs last season by Miami, and when that series concluded he had no doubt the Heat would end up in the NBA Finals
2:03AM ( 28 minutes ago )
A different Augusta National await newcomers from November
The Masters features only six players, three of them amateurs, who have never played in the Masters
1:55AM ( 36 minutes ago )
NFL's move to 17 games could alter record books
The NFL could finally see its first 2,000-yard receiver
1:53AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Pakistan, India peace move silences deadly Kashmir frontier
Guns have fallen silent along the Line of Control, a de facto border that divides the Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan after the rivals last month reaffirmed their 2003 cease-fire accord
1:52AM ( 39 minutes ago )
China aims to vaccinate entire city in 5 days after outbreak
A Chinese border city hit by a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 has begun a five-day drive to vaccinate its entire population of 300,000 people
1:50AM ( 42 minutes ago )