Roy Williams sat in the front row for the press conference introducing Hubert Davis as his replacement as UNC head coach.
“I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to be here,” he said in a video statement. “When I say thrilled, it’s all in capital letters.”
“Hubert Davis was an overachiever as a basketball player,” he continued. “He wasn’t a McDonald All-American and he ended up scoring 1,600 points here at North Carolina. Hubert was an overachiever who also became a first-round draft choice. Hubert Davis was an overacheiver who also played 12 years in the NBA. I’ve never known a finer person in my entire life who has a switch he turns on and can be as competitive as anybody around. Hubert Davis will not be an overachiever as a coach to me because I think he’s going to be great.”
Williams also shared his memory of Davis’ story about talking Dean Smith into offering a scholarship.
“In 1987-88, I went with Coach Dean Smith into Hubert Davis’s home,” Williams said. “Coach Smith said, ‘I don’t know if you’re ever going to be able to play here, Hubert, and I don’t want to do this.’ I got in the car with Coach and I said, ‘Coach, I think he’ll play more than you think he will because I think he’s so competitive and so driven.’ Hubert told coach Smith, ‘You’ll never know unless you give me a chance.’ Coach Smith a couple days later called him and said, ‘I listened to what you said and I’m going to offer you a scholarship to North Carolina.’ Hubert committed to Coach Smith right then.”
Then, speaking directly to the new Carolina coach, Williams said, “Hubert, welcome to that seat as the head basketball coach at North Carolina. You will love it. I will love you sitting there. I will be here cheering. I won’t ever criticize you, I will blame it on the officials. You are the finest young man I’ve ever known in my life. This is hard because I love this program, but you love this program and have the same passion that I do and you’ll be better than me. Congratulations son.”