In a statement released on Thursday, Coach K praised Williams for his incredible career with the Tar Heels. He complimented Williams as someone he greatly respects and lamented not getting to compete against him anymore.
“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,” Coach K said. “Roy has led two iconic programs as a head coach and did so in exemplary fashion… 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 benefited from his longevity in and commitment to coaching. His legacy is secure as one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history.”
Coach K and Roy Williams dominated the ACC during Williams’ tenure at Duke. Over Williams’ 18 years with the Tar Heels, the two coaches combined to win 12 regular season titles and 10 ACC Tournament titles.
“Roy has led two iconic programs and done so in exemplary fashion.”
𝑪𝒐𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝑲 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝑹𝒐𝒚 𝑾𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒎𝒔 pic.twitter.com/BWOuxv0Fkd
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) April 1, 2021
Roy Williams went 19-25 against Duke and Coach K, but won more national titles during his 18 years. Williams won titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017, while Coach K won in 2010 and 2015.
The Duke and UNC coaches never had their programs meet in the NCAA Tournament, but they met plenty of times in the ACC Tournament. They met four times with Duke getting the 3-1 advantage.
Roy Williams’ retirement is the end of another terrific chapter in the Carolina-Duke rivalry. Hopefully his successor can give us even half of the drama we saw between him and Coach K.
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