It’s not an April Fools’ Day joke (just a really weird day to make an announcement that will send thousands of North Carolinians into panicked speculation).
It is true: UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring after 18 seasons coaching the team.
The INDY confirmed the news, which the university’s athletics website, goheels.com, broke on social media this morning, with Steve Kirschner, the senior associate athletic director for strategic communications for the university’s men’s basketball program.
Williams, who led UNC to three NCAA championships (in 2005, 2009, and 2017), retires after 33 seasons and 903 wins as a college basketball coach.
Williams, a Spruce Pine, N.C. (near Asheville) native, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1972 and led the Tar Heels to a 485-163 winning record, two Final Fours in addition to the three NCAA wins, nine ACC regular-season championships, and three ACC tournament crowns.
Williams will address media at a press conference on Roy Williams Court at the Dean E. Smith Center today at 4 p.m. While closed to the public, fans can watch online at GoHeels.com.
Here are some online reactions from notable friends, fans, foes, and fellow North Carolinians.
After 33 years as a Hall of Fame head coach, our beloved Tar Heel Roy Williams is announcing his retirement.
Thank you for all you have done and meant to everyone who plays and loves our game.
Release 🔗: https://t.co/l6y5tRjB2I pic.twitter.com/FzTUmbx3v1
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) April 1, 2021
Dadgummit! Roy Williams, legendary coach and wonderful person is hanging it up! We hate to see you go but Godspeed Coach. – RC pic.twitter.com/INC1jgSaq6
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) April 1, 2021
Salute to UNC Head Coach Roy Williams on a legendary 48-year career. All respect. Thank you for all you have done for the game, our league and the greatest rivalry in sports. 🤝
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) April 1, 2021
Thank you Coach Roy Williams for leading @UNC_basketball with such passion, honor and integrity and for your support of scholarships for student-athletes, Carolina Covenant Scholars and #UNC Chancellor’s Science Scholars. You will inspire us and lead today and beyond. pic.twitter.com/zIBDokJZ3F
— Kevin Guskiewicz (@KevinGuskiewicz) April 1, 2021
What a remarkable coach. Tar Heel fans will miss Roy Williams, just as they are grateful for his years of excellence and decency. Other team fans may be more excited about Roy enjoying his well earned retirement. #ThanksRoy https://t.co/MFBPTgre32
— Josh Stein (@JoshStein_) April 1, 2021
I don’t have the words to describe in one message the impact Coach RW had on my life! Congrats on a legendary career coach, you will be missed 🐐
— Marcus Paige (@marcuspaige5) April 1, 2021
Boys, I’m done.
— Daggum Roy (@DaggumRoy) April 1, 2021