Local News

Williams Ready To Settle In As UNC Coach

Posted May 2, 2003

— Since Roy Williams was named head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team, he has been

busy on the recruiting trail,

having spent little time in Chapel Hill.

But with the recruiting period over Thursday, Williams was in his new office in the Smith Center and trying his best to settle down.

He smiled more easily as he talked about his first two weeks as UNC's coach, though leaving Kansas is something he still thinks about.

"We haven't taken the time yet to celebrate," he said. "We haven't taken the time to feel good, because we've been working so hard.

"But then, also, you have that 'buyer's remorse.' You have that feeling that you left something."

Last season, Williams' 15th in Kansas, the Jayhawks nearly won the national championship. Meanwhile, North Carolina nearly came apart at the seams under Matt Doherty.

February, March and April were stormy months at UNC, marked by player unhappiness over Doherty's coaching style and controversy within the Carolina basketball family over whether Doherty should be retained.

Now, it's May. Williams is here, and the sun is out -- he hopes both literally and figuratively.

"What went on with Matt I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams could ever go on at North Carolina," Williams said. "There were so many different factions pulling at each other. It was more political than I ever thought North Carolina basketball would be, and just not everybody on the same page."

On April 14, Williams, still torn about leaving Kansas, walked into Carolina's house divided -- conjuring up the notion of another UNC alumnus from Asheville that you can't go home again.

But Williams the optimist has an answer for Thomas Wolfe.

"For me, I think I can go home again," Williams said. "It's something that was a dream, and three years ago, I said no, and I thought that I would never have that because I never expected it to happen again. This time, I said yes, and the people have been great, and I hope they continue to be great, and more importantly, I hope they still feel great three years from now."


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