Davis was officially hired as Roy Williams‘ replacement yesterday. He’ll now have the chance to run the program he once played for and has worked for as an assistant coach since 2012.
Williams had been the head coach of the Tar Heels since the 2003-04 season after taking over for Matt Doherty. Doherty, a former standout player for UNC under Dean Smith, compiled a 53-43 overall record in three disappointing seasons at his alma mater.
In an interview with WBTV, Doherty called the hire of Davis “a great fit” and offered some advice for the 50-year-old coach.
“Two things: Making sure you’re not isolated,” Doherty said. “Who can you talk to that you trust that understands you and understands the business of being the head coach at North Carolina, not many people understand that. Secondly, where can you go and create a safe atmosphere for assistant coaches, and other people in the athletic department, including your players to be able to tell you the truth?”
Davis was a star at UNC in the early 1990s and a first-round pick of the New York Knicks in 1992. He played more than a decade in the NBA before going into analyst work at ESPN.
In addition to serving as one of Williams’ assistant coaches the last nine seasons, Davis has been the head coach of North Carolina’s JV team, which has enabled him to get some experience running his own team.
Now, he’ll try to use that experience to help him lead one of the premier college basketball programs in America.