Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Monday, December 27, 2010
Roy Williams reacts to Coach K's milestone

By Diamond Leung

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski can pass Dean Smith for second place on the all-time Division I wins list if the Blue Devils can come away victorious at UNC Greensboro on Wednesday.

To mark the occasion, The News & Observer asked North Carolina coach Roy Williams for his reaction to Krzyzewski's milestone, and Williams had these candid remarks in advance of his legendary predecessor's mark being surpassed by Coach K.
It's an amazing accomplishment. And when I say 'amazing,' I can't bold enough letters, I can't capitalize enough. It's a major accomplishment, and it's amazing. It's human nature that you hate that somebody's passing Coach Smith, there's no question about that. But no one can have more respect for what Mike has done than I do. And I mean that -- our fans may get ticked off, but that's the truth.

It's a much different time now than it was 30 years ago, and to be able to do it the way he's done it, and what he's done, it's just an event. I'm not happy -- but I am happy. I can go all the way back to '91, when they beat us [Kansas] in the national championship game, and the first thing I said to Mike was 'Obviously, I'm devastated, but I'm happy for you.' He had gone through some of the same stuff that Coach [Smith] had been through, he had gone four or five or six times and not won it. So I was really ticked off that we hadn't won, but I was really happy for him.

So while Williams won't jump for joy out of respect for his own competitive spirit as well as the North Carolina fan base, he's kinda sorta happy and respectful that his rival has reached this level of success.

Yes, the two have been involved in various verbal sparring matches over the years and did once need to be separated by a referee.

But that doesn't mean Williams doesn't recognize what an achievement this will be for Krzyzewski.