I was so thrilled to see Roy Williams induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was on the stage in Springfield, Massachusetts and Dean Smith was so proud of his protégé. Think about it, Williams spent 10 years learning from the Michelangelo of coaching, gaining so much valuable insight from the legendary Tar Heel mentor.
Look at Williams' own enthusiasm, spirit and ability to motivate as he became one of the nation' s most complete coaches. He has had an incredible run when you consider the statistics. Yes, my friends, the numbers are impressive. He sports a 106-30 record at Carolina and a 524-131 mark in 19 seasons as a head coach between the Jayhawks and Tar Heels. He averaged over 28 Ws a year with rock, chalk, Jayhawk!
Some credit should go to former Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick. Who was Bob Frederick? He had the guts to hire Williams, who came after the Kansas job as an assistant coach with the Tar Heels. Think about it … do you know how many big names wanted that job in Lawrence? Frederick saw something special and he knew all the goods because former Kansas graduate Smith praised Williams.
Williams won his 500th game on December 9, 2006. He reached 500 Ws in fewer seasons than any coach in the history of college basketball. He is one of only four coaches in history with a winning percentage of 80 or better, in with some incredible company (Clair Bee, Adolph Rupp and John Wooden). Williams is the only coach in history to have won at least one game in 18 consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
Last season, UNC won the ACC regular-season and conference tournament titles in the same year for the first time since 1982. Over the last six seasons, Williams has led his teams to 169 wins, tied for the most in the country among all coaches. During that span he has four 30-win seasons, more than any other coach.
Is there any doubt Williams earned his spot in Springfield? Look at what he has done over the years in the world of basketball and you understand why he was enshrined. What makes it special, like Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski among others, is the fact Williams can enjoy the moment while he is young enough to have his family and friends see that bust. That makes it beautiful as he can enjoy the moment.
The numbers will continue to grow as the Tar Heels are one of the favorites to win it all this season. Williams is a fierce competitor who is never about yesterday and always about tomorrow.
I salute him for his achievements as a solid gold Hall of Famer, representing the collegiate ranks so well.