Roy Williams Surpasses Mentor in All-Time Wins

On Saturday night, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels hosted the Miami Hurricanes in the Dean E. Smith Center for ACC conference play. The Tar Heels came into the game with six consecutive conference losses, a first for the team under Roy Williams, and five losses in a row, which hasn’t happened since the 2003 season. They also came into the game with a dismal 8-10 record for the season, including two overtime losses to Clemson and Virginia Tech.

The last time the Tar Heels won a game was on Dec. 30 versus Yale and it was that victory that propelled Williams to tie with his mentor, Dean Smith, in the total number of wins at 889. The coach had to wait nearly a month to move ahead of Smith and he did so with the Tar Heels’ 94-71 victory over the Hurricanes. He is now fourth on the list of head coaches with all-time wins and trails legendary coaches Bob Knight (909 wins), Jim Boeheim (959), and rival Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski (1,148).

Williams has an impressive resume in his 42-year collegiate coaching career. His all-time overall record is 880-249; at UNC, he is 462-243. His NCAA Division I tournament record is 79-26 and 4-1 in the National Invitation Tournament record books. In addition to breaking Smith’s record for all-time wins, Williams has also earned many accolades over the years including USA Today Sport National Coach of the Year in 2019 and AP Coach of the Year twice.

Williams began his collegiate college career as an assistant head coach to Dean Smith for the University of North Carolina after spending his college years working in various positions volunteering for and learning from Smith. He was with North Carolina as Smith’s assistant from 1978 to 1988 and then took the head coaching position at Kansas University where he led the Jayhawks to many conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.

Williams left Kansas in 2003 to return to his alma mater to take the reins from his mentor to become the head coach of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, and 17 years later, Williams continues to break records and do what he loves best: coach his boys and his team, teaching them not only the fundamentals of the game and how to win but also core values they will carry with them going forward after their time with the University of North Carolina.

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