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UNC men's basketball head coach Roy Williams announces retirement

Williams led the Tar Heels to NCAA titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Famed University of North Carolina head basketball coach Roy Williams, who led the Tar Heels to three NCAA titles, is retiring after a 48-season career as a basketball coach. 

Williams spoke Thursday at a news conference about retiring. He became emotional during his announcement. 

“When I realized I would walk through that tunnel for the last time as a coach was really difficult,” Roy Williams said.

Williams has been a head coach for 33 years – 18 of those years were with the Tar Heels. He has 903 career wins - the third most of any men’s coach in NCAA history.

He said he's come to realize it's time for another coach to step in. 

“But the biggest reason why we’re here having this meeting is that I just don’t feel like I’m the right man any longer,” Roy Williams said.

He took losses to heart and said it weighed on him through the season and knew it was time to retire.

Williams graduated from UNC in 1972, where he also played on the basketball team.

He coached high school basketball in his hometown of Asheville before becoming the assistant coach of the UNC men's basketball team.  

RELATED: College basketball reacts to Roy Williams' retirement on social media

He went on to coach at the University of Kansas for 15 years before returning to his Alma Mater as head coach.

Williams has been at Carolina for 18 seasons and led the Tar Heels to National Championships in 2005, 2009 and 2017.

Williams was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Duke's basketball program congratulated Williams on his retirement on Twitter:

ROY WILLIAMS’ CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

• 48 seasons as a basketball coach, including 33 seasons as a college head coach (18 at UNC, 15 at Kansas), 10 as assistant coach at UNC and five as head coach at Owen High School in Black Mountain, N.C.

• 2007 inductee to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

• Third all-time in wins by a Division I head coach with 903

• Reached 900 wins in fewer games (1,161) and seasons (33) than any coach in NCAA history

• 903 wins in 33 seasons is 100 more than any other coach in NCAA history (803 by Mike Krzyzewski, 802 by Dean Smith)

• Second-winningest coach in UNC history and third in Kansas history

• Only coach in history with 400 wins at two schools

• Sixth-highest winning percentage (.774) in NCAA history

• Led UNC to three NCAA championships (2005, 2009, 2017)

• Third to take teams to the NCAA Tournament at least 30 times

• Consensus National Coach of the Decade (2000-09)

• Led UNC and Kansas to nine Final Fours, fourth most all-time

• Second in NCAA Tournament wins (79), second in No. 1 seeds (13), second in games (105), third in NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.745) and tied for fourth in NCAA championships

• NCAA-record eight wins over Associated Press No. 1-ranked teams

• Second in NCAA history in 30-win seasons (12) and tied for fourth in 20-win seasons (29)

• Tied for fifth all-time with 18 regular-season conference championships

• Third all-time in ACC regular-season wins (212)

• Third-most ACC road wins (93) and fourth-highest ACC road winning percentage all-time (.604)

• Second-most wins (208) in first 300 ACC regular-season games

• 32 NBA first-round draft picks (22 at UNC, 10 at Kansas)

• 52 former players in the NBA

• Four National Players of the Year, six ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year, 10 consensus first-team All-Americas, 17 first-team All-Americas and three Bob Cousy Award winners

• Only coach to coach two Academic All-Americas of the Year (Jacque Vaughn at Kansas, Tyler Zeller at UNC)

THE WILLIAMS RECORD

Overall: 903-264, 33 seasons (.774)

Record at UNC: 485-163, 18 seasons (.748)

NCAA Championships (3): 2005, 2009, 2017 at UNC

Final Fours (9): 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003 at Kansas; 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017 at UNC

NCAA Tournament: 79-27 (.745)

NCAA Tournament at UNC: 45-13 (.776)

NCAA Finals: 3-3

NCAA Finals at UNC: 3-1

National Championship Games (6): 1991, 2003 at Kansas; 2005, 2009, 2016, 2017 at UNC

National Semifinals: 6-3

National Semifinals at UNC: 4-1

NCAA Elite 8s (13): 1991, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003 at Kansas; 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017 at UNC

NCAA Elite 8: 9-4 (5-3 at UNC)

NCAA Sweet 16s (19): 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2003 at Kansas; 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 at UNC

NCAA Sweet 16: 13-6 (8-2 at UNC)

NCAA 2nd Round: 19-10 (10-5 at UNC)

NCAA 1st Round: 29-1 (15-1 at UNC)

Conference Regular-Season Titles (18): 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003 at Kansas; 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2019 at UNC

ACC Regular-Season: 212-94 (.693)

ACC Home: 119-33 (.783)

ACC Road: 93-61 (.604)

ACC Tournament: 29-15 (.659)

ACC Tournament Titles (3): 2007, 2008, 2016

Conference Tournaments Titles (7): 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999 at Kansas; 2007, 2008, 2016 at UNC

Conference Tournaments (ACC and Big 8/12): 52-25

Home: 444-57 (.886)

Home UNC Record: 243-41 (.856)

Smith Center UNC Record: 241-40 (.858)

Away UNC Record: 123-77 (.615)

Against Ranked Teams (AP poll): 164-134 (most recent vs. Florida State, 3/12/21)

Against No. 1-Ranked Teams: 8-8