‘Drove Coach Out’- NCAA Analyst Explains Why Roy Williams Retired As Coach of UNC Tar Heels

Published 04/03/2021, 12:21 PM EDT
Mar 6, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams reacts in the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


Roy Williams is one of the most well-respected coaches in all of NCAA basketball. The 2020-21 season was Williams’ 18th in charge of the UNC Tar Heels. While he did lead them to the NCAA tournament, the team didn’t have the best run in the tournament. It must be some consolation to be one of the only blue-bloods to make it to March Madness.

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However, Williams announced his retirement from the NCAA. Despite his long history as one of the best coaches in the game, his time has come to an end. According to analyst Seth Greenberg, the modern elements of college basketball basically pushed Williams into this decision.

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“The business of college basketball, in my mind, drove him out of coaching. It’s sad because you don’t have the same relationships. The transfer portal, one-and-done, everything that’s going on in our game. The lack of stability of your roster, the lack of time to develop those relationships is no longer a big part of college basketball. And I think that drove coach out of it.”

Roy Williams: Did the modern setup of the NCAA cause his retirement?

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Roy Williams is one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history for a reason. Not only has he won three titles as head coach of the Tar Heels, but he also had a great spell with the Kansas Jayhawks before that. His 15-year run there didn’t result in a National Championship, but Williams advanced the program by leaps and bounds during his time there.

Mar 19, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard (left) bumps elbows with North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams after a Badgers victory in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The one-and-done setup of NCAA basketball is one that Williams has been navigating for years. Ever since talented high school players were forced to go to college, most of them have decided to leave after one season. This hurts the continuity of top teams like the Tar Heels that want to develop talent, but also recruit the best from each high school class.

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But the real issue is quite simple. Williams has been in the pipeline of NCAA coaches since 1978 when he joined the Tar Heels under Dean Smith. It has been a long and illustrious career for Williams, but maybe it was just time for him to call it.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1456 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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