North Carolina hires Hubert Davis as men’s basketball coach to replace Roy Williams

North Carolina hires Hubert Davis as men’s basketball coach to replace Roy Williams

North Carolina declared Monday that it hired Hubert Davis to replace retiring men’s basketball coach Roy Williams. Davis, a 50-year-old assistant coach and former standout player for the Tar Heels, becomes the first Black head coach throughout the entire existence of the program.

“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,” Davis said in a statement.

“I love this University,” he added. “I played here, I earned my degree here, I fell in love with my wife here, I got married here, I moved here after I retired from the NBA and I have raised my family here. I am proud to lead this team, and I can’t wait for all that comes next.”

Williams declared a week ago that he was stepping down after 18 seasons in which he drove the Tar Heels to three national titles and two different appearances in the Final Four. He helped UNC win a NCAA title as of late as 2017, however his groups went 14-19 last season and 18-11 this season in the midst of the challenges of coaching during a pandemic.

“I started the season when I was 70 years old and I feel like I’m 103 now,” Williams said last week. “It has been a trying year, … 2020 and the first part of 2021. I haven’t enjoyed that much.”

Davis played in the 1991 Final Four under previous North Carolina mentor Dean Smith, whose group lost in the public elimination rounds that year to a Kansas group trained by Williams. Following a 12-year NBA profession, Davis worked as a basketball analyst on TV prior to joining Williams’ UNC staff in 2012.

He doesn’t have past head coaching experience, which North Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham indicated a week ago was his preference, however Davis purportedly got the endorsement of Williams and had an edge over outside candidates as a prominent individual from the Tar Heels family.

Williams made Davis the lead trainer of UNC’s junior varsity team to help groom him for the top work, and the former shooting guard’s other responsibilities included recruiting, scouting and overseeing basketball clinics and charitable endeavors associated with the program.

A secondary school star at Lake Braddock in Burke, Va., Davis helped the Tar Heels to a couple of ACC tournament titles and earned second-team all-conference honors for a senior season in which he arrived at the midpoint of 21.4 points. He stays the program’s unsurpassed chief in three-point rate (least 100 endeavors) at .435.

The connections to the Tar Heels run profound for Davis, whose uncle, Walter Davis, played for North Carolina from 1974 to 1977 and is broadly viewed as perhaps the best part in the program’s celebrated history.

Williams leaves with 903 wins, the third most time at the Division I level, behind just Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (1,170) and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (1,083). A previous right hand to Smith at UNC prior to taking over at Kansas, he is the lone mentor to lead two Division I projects to in any event 400 wins and four compartments in the Final Four.

In uncovering he had trained his last game with the Tar Heels, Williams deplored a week ago that he “just didn’t get it done” with the team this season and “just don’t feel that I’m the right man any longer.”

Calling Davis “the best leader we can possibly have” for the program, Cunningham said in a statement, “He has a tenacious, burning desire to be the best he can possibly be; we witnessed that when he was a player, a broadcaster and an assistant coach — and I have no doubt he will ensure that our student-athletes and program will be the best they can be, as well.”

Priyanka Patil