North Carolina names Hubert Davis as Roy Williams’ successor

Feb 16, 2019; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams, left, talks to assistant coaches Hubert Davis, center, and Brad Frederick as the North Carolina Tar Heels play the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the second half at Lawrence Joel Coliseum. The North Carolina Tar Heels won 95-57. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina promoted assistant Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams as the Tar Heels’ new head coach, the university announced Monday.

Davis, 50, will be formally introduced during a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Davis has been an assistant to Williams for the past nine years in Chapel Hill. Williams, 70, announced his retirement last Thursday after winning three national championships in 18 years as the Tar Heels’ head coach.

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Hubert Davis talks about replacing Roy Williams

Hubert Davis, North Carolina
Jan 14, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels assistant coach Hubert Davis reacts during the JV game at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,” Davis said. “I would not be here without Coach Dean Smith, Coach Bill Guthridge and Coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much — and I’m eager to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality. I also would not be here without Chancellor (Kevin M.) Guskiewicz and (athletic director) Bubba Cunningham. I appreciate their faith in me and I look forward to working closely with them.

“I love this University. I played here, I earned my degree here, I fell in love with my wife here, I got married here, I moved here after I retired from the NBA and I have raised my family here. I am proud to lead this team, and I can’t wait for all that comes next.”

Cunningham interviewed at least eight candidates since Williams’ announcement, per reports.

“Hubert Davis is the best leader we can possibly have for our men’s basketball program,” Cunningham said. “He teaches student-athletes on and off the court. He inspires his fellow staff members. He is strongly committed to family. He has a tenacious, burning desire to be the best he can possibly be; we witnessed that when he was a player, a broadcaster and an assistant coach — and I have no doubt he will ensure than our student-athletes and program will be the best they can be, as well.”

Davis played under Smith from 1988-92, averaging 11.8 points per game in 137 games (56 starts). He averaged 21.4 points and earned second-team All-ACC honors as a senior.

Hubert Davis was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 1992 by the New York Knicks. He played 12 seasons in the NBA, finishing with a scoring average of 8.2 points in 685 games (149 starts) for six teams.

Williams, a 1972 North Carolina graduate, is credited for revitalizing a program that was a combined 27-36 in 2001-02 and 2002-03 under Matt Doherty. The Tar Heels missed the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons, the program’s first absence since 1973-74.

North Carolina named Williams to replace Doherty before the 2003-04 season, and in his second year on the job, the Tar Heels won the first of their three NCAA championships — 2005, 2009 and 2017 — under his leadership.

–Field Level Media