As Carolina basketball fans, it is easy to forget about the life that Roy Williams lived before he returned to Chapel Hill. As the head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks, Williams had as successful of a career as a first-time head coach could’ve had without winning a national title. This is why he has been selected to be inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Williams was the head coach in Lawrence for 15 seasons (1988-2003) and finished his career with the Jayhawks with a 418-101 record. These wins resulted in five Big Eight regular season titles, four Big 12 regular season titles, and four trips to the Final Four. While that sounds impressive on its own, Williams returned to UNC and retired with a 903-264 record, five Final Four appearances, and three national championship titles. He is the only coach in NCAA history to win 400 or more games at two difference schools, which goes to show that the names of the schools had little to do with his success.
Other members of the 2022 Kansas Hall of Fame that will join Roy Williams include Clint Bowyer, Emily Bloss Carpenter, Tara Holloway Churchill, Elwood “Bingo” DeMoss, Kendall Gammon, Bill Waters, Jesse Nelson, George Toma, and Gordon Vadakin. This will be Williams’ third Hall of Fame nod, as he is currently a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the National College Basketball Hall of Fame. Other notable accolades for Williams include being selected twice as the AP Coach of the Year, three times as Big 12 Coach of the Year, twice as ACC Coach of the Year, and he is a John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award winner.
It is incredible to see Williams receiving such an incredible honor post-retirement. As rememberable as his time at Carolina was, Jayhawks fans have to be proud of their former head coach and everything he accomplished during his time in Lawrence. It’s rare that a head coach is able to leave such a mark on two elite programs, but well…Roy Williams was an elite head coach, and he is an even better person. These two programs aren’t necessarily the best of friends, but the one thing they can agree on is that Roy Williams deserves this honor, and any other honor that he may receive in the future.
What do you think of Williams being selected for the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments below.