North Carolina hires Hubert Davis as the first African-American men’s basketball coach in team history

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North Carolina hires former Tar Heels star Hubert Davis as the first African-American men’s basketball coach in school history to replace outgoing Hall of Famer Roy Williams

  • Former UNC star Hubert Davis has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, replacing outgoing Hall of Famer Roy Williams, who recently retired.
  • Davis served on the Williams staff at UNC and previously played for the Tar Heels
  • The former NBA player is the first African American coach in team history
  • Williams retired after 18 seasons with his alma mater in a career that also included 15 years in Kansas and 903 overall wins. He has won three NCAA titles with UNC

The University of North Carolina has hired its first African American men’s basketball coach, replacing outgoing Hall of Famer Roy Williams with assistant coach and former Tar Heels guard Hubert Davis.

50-year-old Davis has played for the Tar Heels under Dean Smith for a long NBA career, and has worked under Williams for the past nine seasons.

The school announced its recruitment on Monday after an emergency board meeting. UNC is planning an introductory press conference for Davis on Tuesday.

“I love this university,” Davis said in a statement. ‘I played here, I graduated here, I fell in love with my wife here, I got married here, I moved here after I retired from the NBA and I raised my family here. I am proud to lead this team and I cannot wait for everything to come next. ‘

Williams retired last week after 18 seasons with his alma mater in a career that also included 15 years in Kansas and 903 overall wins. All three of his NCAA championships came with the Tar Heels.

North Carolina has hired its first African American men's basketball coach, replacing Hall of Famer Roy Williams (left) by assistant coach and former Tar Heels guard Hubert Davis (right)

North Carolina has hired its first African American men’s basketball coach, replacing Hall of Famer Roy Williams (left) by assistant coach and former Tar Heels guard Hubert Davis (right)

Hubert Davis of the North Carolina Tar Hells circa 1990 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Hubert Davis of the North Carolina Tar Hells circa 1990 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Hubert Davis # 44 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Sacramento Kings on March 1, 1994 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California

Hubert Davis # 44 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Sacramento Kings on March 1, 1994 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California

Hubert Davis played at UNC in 1990 (left) and for the New York Knicks in 1994 (right)

Ex-UNC star Rick Fox was happy to see the Tar Heels hire a member of the Carolina Family

Ex-UNC star Rick Fox was happy to see the Tar Heels hire a member of the Carolina Family

Ex-UNC star Rick Fox was happy to see the Tar Heels hire a member of the Carolina Family

The school has a long history of turning to those with UNC ties to lead the program, which owns six NCAA championships and is among the very best college basketball winners. It’s worked before, with longtime assistant Bill Guthridge taking over after Smith’s retirement in 1997 and leading the Tar Heels to two Final Fours, as well as Williams’ return from Kansas in 2003.

But it didn’t work during Matt Doherty’s three-year tumultuous tenure – including an 8-20 season in 2002 – after Williams turned down the job following Guthridge’s retirement in 2000.

The Tar Heels are staying with the ‘Carolina family’ again, this time turning to a trusted former player who has never been a head coach. His hiring also marks a seminal moment as the first black coach in the history of the program.

“I feel honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead this program,” Davis said. ‘I wouldn’t be here without Coach Dean Smith, Coach Bill Guthridge and Coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much – and I can’t wait to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality. ‘

Davis had been on the Williams staff since 2012 as a bank coach, recruiter and scout, including a run to the 2016 NCAA title game and the championship a year later. He was also head coach of the UNC junior varsity program and oversaw the program’s charitable endeavors.

Davis had been on the Williams staff since 2012 as a bank coach, recruiter and scout, including a run to the 2016 NCAA title game and the championship a year later.  He was also the head coach of the UNC junior varsity program and oversaw the program's charities

Davis had been on the Williams staff since 2012 as a bank coach, recruiter and scout, including a run to the 2016 NCAA title game and the championship a year later.  He was also the head coach of the UNC junior varsity program and oversaw the program's charities

Davis had been on the Williams staff since 2012 as a bank coach, recruiter and scout, including a run to the 2016 NCAA title game and the championship a year later. He was also the head coach of the UNC junior varsity program and oversaw the program’s charities

Davis, the cousin of former UNC player and NBA All-Star Walter Davis, played for Smith from 1988-92 and still holds the program record for a career 3-point percentage (.435). He was part of two Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championships as a player, scoring 25 points in a 1991 Final Four defeat to a Kansas team led by Williams.

Davis became a first-round NBA draft pick by the New York Knicks and spent a dozen seasons in the league.

After his playing career, Davis spent seven years at ESPN as a college basketball analyst, until Williams asked Davis to join his staff in 2012 – which Davis said at the time was “ a total surprise. ”

Now it’s up to Davis to keep the Tar Heels among the nation’s elite programs.

In a statement, athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Davis is the “ best leader we can have for our men’s basketball program. ”

“He teaches student athletes on and off the field,” Cunningham said. ‘He inspires his colleagues. He values ​​family a lot. He has a stubborn, burning desire to be the best he can be; we witnessed that when he was a player, broadcaster and assistant coach – and I have no doubt he will make sure that our student athletes and the program will be the best it can be too. ‘

University of North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams talks to assistant coaches Steve Robinson and Hubert Davis during the CBS Sports Classic between the UCLA Bruins and North Carolina Tar Heels on December 21, 2019

University of North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams talks to assistant coaches Steve Robinson and Hubert Davis during the CBS Sports Classic between the UCLA Bruins and North Carolina Tar Heels on December 21, 2019

University of North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams talks to assistant coaches Steve Robinson and Hubert Davis during the CBS Sports Classic between the UCLA Bruins and North Carolina Tar Heels on December 21, 2019

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