- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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North Carolina coach Roy Williams had made it clear over the past few weeks that his new assistant coach would have Tar Heels ties.
Williams got his "first option" Wednesday in former UNC guard Hubert Davis, who has spent the past seven years as an ESPN college basketball analyst. The school announced the move in a statement Wednesday evening.
"I am elated that I can fill this spot with Hubert," Williams said in a prepared statement. "I helped recruit him to Carolina in 1988, coached him in the World University Games in 1991 and have always admired him on and off the court. I knew the day would eventually come when I would need to replace staff members as they moved on.
"For the last four or five years Hubert has always been on my mind in case a spot did come open. I didn't know if I could get him to come back, but I knew I wanted him to be the first option. Coaching is about teaching, relationships and passion and I feel Hubert is the perfect choice. Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from what he adds to our staff."
Davis, who helped the Tar Heels to a 102-37 record before a 12-year NBA career, replaces Jerod Haase, who left UNC to become head coach at UAB.
"I am very excited, thankful and honored to re-join the Carolina basketball program as an assistant to coach Williams," Davis said in a prepared statement released by the school. "I loved being a part of college basketball during my time at ESPN by attending practices and games and developing relationships with players and coaches. Now I will have the opportunity to do this on a more personal level at a university and with a basketball program that I have loved my entire life."
Williams said he considered "a fabulous group" of current college coaches, as well as those who wanted to get into coaching. He previously said 14 former UNC players had contacted him about the position.
"Guys like Shammond Williams are not in college coaching now, but it is going to be great when his time comes," Williams said. "We also had interest from NBA assistants, so it truly was a diverse group, but Hubert is taking the job and I know all former Tar Heels will be extremely happy."