North Carolina to honor Roy Williams by naming court after him

ByJeff Borzello ESPN logo
Thursday, August 2, 2018

The North Carolina Tar Heels will name the court at the Dean E. Smith Center after head coach Roy Williams, the school announced Thursday.

It will officially become Roy Williams Court in August 24.

"It's very hard to believe; it's just so flattering," Williams said in a release. "I have to figure out a way to thank all my current and former players, because it may be my name on the court, but it really honors all of them because they made the plays.

"It's overwhelming to think about it. Coach Smith did so much, he was so good for people. He would be proud of what we've done on the court, but Coach was always able to do so much more for the players off the court. I'm glad his name is on the building. It's going to be hard to think of my name on the floor in his building."

Williams has been the head coach of the Tar Heels for 15 seasons, winning three national championships and eight ACC regular-season titles while making five Final Four appearances. North Carolina is 424-126 with Williams at the helm.

He was also an assistant at North Carolina under Smith for 10 seasons before becoming the head coach at Kansas for 15 seasons.

Williams was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

"Coach Williams is one of college basketball's greatest coaches ever," UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. "But I've come to see that the measure of the man is his integrity, his honesty, the manner in which he relates to and supports his players and the love he has for the University of North Carolina.

"He didn't want this honor, but his players and our staff wanted it for him, and that says so much about why we will forever celebrate the game of basketball at Carolina on Roy Williams Court."

Williams, who graduated from North Carolina in 1972, is seventh all-time in wins by a Division I head coach.