North Carolina has hired UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams as the school’s next men’s basketball coach, the school announced Monday afternoon. Davis, 50, was a star guard for the Tar Heels under Dean Smith from 1988 to 1992 before a lengthy NBA playing career. He has spent the last nine seasons as an assistant for the Tar Heels.
Williams announced his retirement last week after 18 seasons leading the program. UNC won three national titles under Williams’ direction, and Davis was on the bench for the most recent title in 2017. As a former Carolina player and current assistant, Davis was expected to be one of the top candidates for the job once Williams, 70, stepped down.
UNC made three Sweet 16s and a Final Four during his playing career, and his connection to both Smith and Williams makes a certified member of the “Carolina family.”
Davis has been heavily involved in recruiting, bench coaching and scouting during his time on the UNC staff after working for seven years in an analyst role with ESPN before entering the coaching ranks. As a 6-foot-5 guard, he was known for 3-point shooting during his playing career and parlayed that skill into an NBA career with the Knicks, Raptors, Mavericks, Wizards, Mavericks and Nets that lasted from 1992 until 2004.
UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller, who is also a former UNC player, was also expected to receive consideration for the job. However, Tar Heels athletic director Bubba Cunningham said that keeping the job within the university “family” was “not the only factor in trying to make a decision like this.”
But Cunningham also said he wanted the search to go “as quickly as we can,” and tabbing Davis to replace Williams would provide a sense of continuity for a program that has a talented roster and is just four years removed from a national title.