CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Roy Williams retired from coaching college basketball Thursday, leaving a legendary career in his wake.
Players, programs and pundits took to social media to congratulate and react to the news. Many consider Williams to be one of the greatest coaches in the sport's history.
Williams' retirement comes amid speculation that the 70-year-old was frustrated with the direction the sport is headed. In the 18 years since his return to North Carolina, his basketball program has perennially been one of the best in the nation.
Williams told his players during a team meeting before the public announcement.
Reactions poured in from across the college basketball landscape:
Duke University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski on the Retirement of Roy Williams:
“Like everyone, I was surprised to read today’s announcement about Roy Williams’ retirement. College basketball is losing one of its greatest coaches and a man who genuinely cares about the game of basketball, and more importantly, the people who play it. Roy has led two iconic programs as a head coach and did so in exemplary fashion. I have the utmost respect for Roy and his family, who represented themselves and their institutions with class, grace and humility. While we were on opposite sides of college basketball’s greatest rivalry, we both understood how lucky we were to be part of it and always tried to represent it in the way it deserved. Personally, I will miss competing against him, seeing him at coaches’ meetings and having the opportunity to discuss how to make our game even better. Roy is a great friend, and our sport was very fortunate to have him as long as it did. We have all benefitted from his longevity in and commitment to coaching. His legacy is secure as one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history.”
Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton on the retirement of Roy Williams:
“Growing up in North Carolina and being a tremendous fan of ACC basketball, I recognize the historical importance of North Carolina to the ACC and college basketball. Coach Williams carried on so well the rich tradition of the UNC basketball program, and he did so with great professionalism and loyalty. He has been a fantastic ambassador for our great sport. The landscape of college basketball has changed tremendously but the Carolina tradition because of Roy Williams is as strong as it has ever been. He is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the title, and we want to wish him and his family well as they begin this new phase of their lives.”