The 10 best candidates in North Carolina to replace Roy Williams after retirement
Roy Williams retired on Thursday after 33 years as head coach.
Williams, 70, spent 15 seasons with Kansas in North Carolina before an 18-year stint. He finished with 903 wins, nine games in four finals and three national tournaments. He is one of the most decorated coaches of all time. This is not an April Fools’ Day joke.
After 33 years as a Hall of Fame coach, our beloved Tar Heel Roy Williams will announce his retirement.
Thank you to everyone who played and loved our game for everything they did and said.
– Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) April 1, 2021
Williams ’successor will have high hopes for North Carolina. That said, this is definitely the best college basketball job and should attract a lot of college and NBA level names.
Who are these potential replacements for North Carolina? Sporting News takes a closer look.
Candidates to head North Carolina
Hubert Davis, UNC assistant coach
The last three coaches in North Carolina – Williams, Matt Doherty and Bill Guthridge – played or acted as Dean Smith’s assistant coach. Davis marks two boxes. He played for Smith and has been an assistant to Williams since 2012. Davis also played in the NBA from 1992 to 2004, and makes the easiest transition if some horrible candidates have no interest in that job. If Tar Heels would do that, though, why not make the announcement now?
Wes Miller, UNC-Greensboro coach
Miller is another interesting heir, and for good reason. He played for Williams ’North Carolina from 2004 to 2007, and the Greensboros has spent his entire coaching career in the state with Elon, High Point and UNC-Greensboro. The Spartans have enjoyed five consecutive seasons with 20 more wins, which includes two appearances in the NCAA Championship. Miller, 38, is set to land a major job as a conference coach soon. This can be perfect.
Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls coach
Brad Stevens is always the name that comes out of the NBA standings – think, Indiana a few weeks ago – but inevitably he always stays with the Boston Celtics. The next name is Donovan, who spent five seasons with Oklahoma City before taking on the job in Chicago. Donovan was more successful at the college level with two Florida national championships, and at age 55 he is not much older than Williams when he took his job in North Carolina in 2003. Donovan could move forward in North Carolina.
John Beilein, Big Ten Network analyst
Would North Carolina consider the 68-year-old coach? Beilein’s play with the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t work out, but he’s had great success with Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan. The Wolverines went to the Quarterfinals in 2013 and 2018. Beilein can be a coach and a success at any conference. It was written by Mike DeCourcy of SN, “There’s no doubt he’s been denied other options while waiting for the right one to get back into coaching. This he couldn’t refuse,” the Texas job opened. Could that be the job?
Porter Moser, Loyola coach
Moser’s shares will never be bigger and it would be time for North Carolina to strike. Loyola has moved to the Final Four and Sweet 16, and the Ramblers have four seasons with 20 wins or more. Moser is from Illinois, however, and the overall record for coaches is 239-241. That would be among the fans who expect to compete in national championships every year.
Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilte coach
Stackhouse is another well-known former student who completed his second season as coach at Vanderbilt. The last two seasons have been a 20-37 record and a 6-28 record in the SEC game. Sure, Stackhouse would use his NBA experience – he was assistant coach at Toronto and Memphis – to keep the recruitment pipeline open, but that record could make some Tar Heels nervous about a potential hiring.
Kenny Smith, TNT analyst
Smith played in North Carolina from 1983 to 1987 and was a two-time NBA champion with the Houston Rockets. He is most recognized today for his work “within the NBA,” and it’s certainly one that he still invests in in the North Carolina program. Smith knows the game, but has no coaching experience.
LeVelle Moton, North Carolina Central Coach
Moton, 46, is one of the best candidates in the state on the list. He played high school and college ball in North Carolina, and has had continued success with North Carolina Central at MEAC. The Eagles have held four tournaments since 2014, and have had a 110-41 record in MEAC since 2012. It’s a big step, but Moton needs to consider it based on that trajectory.
Chris Holtmann, Ohio State Coach
Holtmann will be another candidate for the opening works, and is based on the immediate impact of Ohio State. Buckeys has won 20 games in the last four seasons, and Holtmann has statewide experience with his career at Gardner-Webb. Holtmann is one of the best candidates in the major conferences worth studying.
Jerod Haase, Stanford coach
Hasse is not a huge candidate, but he was Williams ’assistant in North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. He moved to the NCAA Championships in 2015 at the UAB, but has not been promoted to the Stanford Big Dance for the past five seasons. Haase is a member of that North Carolina coaching guild, but may not be successful enough to get the job done.