LAWRENCE, Kan. – Roy Williams will go down as one of the greatest coaches in Kansas basketball history. Williams, who amassed 903 all-time victories, announced his retirement April 1 after 33 seasons of coaching, including 15 while at KU.
“Roy Williams has been an icon in our industry for the last 33 years, and his retirement is very well deserved. Roy won at the highest level and projected first-class while doing so. To have the opportunity to follow him here at the University of Kansas and see firsthand the type of program he ran was an honor of a lifetime. Congratulations to him on a Hall of Fame career and for the lasting impact he has had on our sport.”
KANSAS HEAD COACH BILL SELF
Williams came to Lawrence after 10 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, where he worked for KU alum Dean Smith.
In 15 seasons at Kansas, Williams led the Jayhawks to an amazing 418-101 record, for a winning percentage of 80.5 percent. He won more games in the first 15 years of a coaching career than any coach in Division I history, and he is the third-winningest coach all-time at KU, trailing Phog Allen and Bill Self.
During Williams’ tenure, Kansas made four trips to the NCAA Final Four, including playing for the national championship in 1991 and 2003. He coached four consensus first-team All-Americans (Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce), while seeing 10 of his players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Under Williams, the Jayhawks won nine conference titles, and, in 2002, became the first and only team in the history of the Big 12 Conference to go undefeated in league play (16-0).
While at KU, Williams was a three-time National Coach of the Year and the recipient of the 2003 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award. Williams returned to North Carolina, his alma mater, to assume head coaching duties at UNC in the spring of 2003. Williams was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in September of 2007.