Legendary North Carolina men’s basketball head coach Roy Williams has announced his retirement early on Thursday morning, April 1. Unfortunately for Tar Heels fans, this doesn’t look like an April Fools joke.
“After 33 years as a Hall of Fame head coach, our beloved Tar Heel Roy Williams is announcing his retirement. Thank you for all you have done and meant to everyone who plays and loves our game,” the university wrote accompanying an official release.
Williams, 70, posted an astounding 485-163 record during his 18-year tenure at North Carolina. He won three national championships while at the helm for the Tar Heels in 2005, 2009 and 2017 and made nine Final Fours, five with UNC and four with his former program, Kansas.
Williams will finish his career with a combined record of 903-264 over the course of 33 seasons.
More apparent details about Williams’ retirement have started to trickle out, with Stadium’s Jeff Goodman providing further context about the decision soon after the official announcement.
“There has been speculation that Roy Williams was going to retire in the last couple weeks,” Goodman wrote. “He’s 70 years old, and has been frustrated with the direction that college basketball is headed, per sources. One of those areas was the rash of transfers of late, also concerned about NIL.
There has been speculation that Roy Williams was going to retire in the last couple weeks. He’s 70 years old, and has been frustrated with the direction that college basketball is headed, per sources. One of those areas was the rash of transfers of late, also concerned about NIL.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 1, 2021
North Carolina has been directly affected by the rise of transfers this spring in college basketball. Multiple players have already entered the portal, though it’s unclear whether those were independent of Williams’ decision to retire.
Whatever the reasons for his decision, the 70-year-old will leave behind a massive void in the game of college basketball. He’ll also create one of the most desirable vacancies at North Carolina that is sure to attract some of the sport’s best coaches.
Williams is expected to address the media at a press conference on Roy Williams Court at the Dean E. Smith Center at 4 p.m ET on Thursday.