With Roy Williams‘ retirement, one of the best jobs in college basketball is now open. The North Carolina program has often kept things in the family whenever possible, though there aren’t a ton of high-profile UNC alumni that are obvious candidates for the job. One of the most notable former UNC stars out there, and one who is already coaching at the Power Five ranks: Jerry Stackhouse.
The former UNC star and two-time All-Star just wrapped up his second year as head coach at Vanderbilt. The hire was a very intriguing one at the time, but he’s struggled to get the Commodores into contention in an ever-improving SEC. The team is 20-37 (6-28) through two seasons.
Stackhouse took that job after stints as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies, as well as two seasons as head coach of the G-League’s Raptors 905. He was viewed as a true up-and-comer in the coaching ranks before taking the Vandy job, but with his record so far at the college level, it would probably be a hard sell for North Carolina, even if he is a beloved former Tar Heel.
That hasn’t stopped speculation though. The Tennessean wrote about the possibility, and plenty have floated his name out there on the assumption that North Carolina basketball will seek out an alumnus or someone with deep connections to the program.
Would North Carolina consider Vanderbilt's Jerry Stackhouse to succeed Roy Williams as basketball coach? https://t.co/S2gVg4unGO
— Tennessean (@Tennessean) April 1, 2021
Jerry Stackhouse would also be great for UNC.
Currently coaching at Vanderbilt, Stackhouse told me on Scoop B Radio that his biggest influences were Dean Smith, Gregg Popovich, Avery Johnson, Don Nelson and Rick Carlisle.
He's also a North Carolina legend. pic.twitter.com/LTUqIyYgb8
— 👑 Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) April 1, 2021
Maybe I’m on an island here, but I think Jerry Stackhouse would kill it at North Carolina. He needs to hire two guys that will put in the hours recruiting for him, that’s not his thing, but that dude can really coach. Ask around the SEC. He’s legit.
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) April 1, 2021
— Reggie Bullock (@ReggieBullock35) April 1, 2021
He has his boosters for sure, but others are mocking the idea of Jerry Stackhouse to North Carolina basketball, even before we really know if its realistic or not.
Did Jerry Stackhouse write this article? https://t.co/QPblmd72Lx
— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) April 1, 2021
Rob's my guy. No one in college hoops' opinion I respect more.
And I get Stackhouse is a Carolina guy.
Buuuuuut, if Jerry Stackhouse is sending angry DM's to Vandy fans, I can't even imagine how he'd handle the reaction the first time that UNC loses two games in a row https://t.co/JGJYAsVYWq
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) April 1, 2021
Would UNC consider former Tar Heel great Jerry Stackhouse to succeed Roy Williams?
— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) April 1, 2021
Stackhouse was third in betting odds that were released shortly after this morning’s Roy Williams news. The two favorites are also UNC alumni: Roy Williams’ assistant Hubert Davis and UNC Greensboro head coach Wes Miller.
Plenty have called the North Carolina job the best in all of college basketball. It will be fascinating to see how the school approaches this monumental hire.