Larry Brown wasn’t shy about his feelings on North Carolina’s coaching search. The Hall of Fame coach said only one person should be selecting the Tar Heels next men’s basketball coach– Roy Williams himself.
Brown made an appearance on ACC Network’s Packer and Durham Friday to share stories about Williams and said the fellow Hall of Fame coach deserves to pick his successor while on his way out the door.
“In my gut, I hope Roy Williams picks his successor, and I hope it’s someone from the Carolina family,” said Brown. “I know what Coach Smith would want, I know what Coach McGuire would want… Keep it in the family, and let’s move forward.”
Williams announced his retirement Thursday after 33 seasons at both Kansas and North Carolina. One of four active coaches with over 900 wins and a school record three national championships with the Tar Heels. He remains the only coach in NCAA history with 400 wins at two different schools.
Williams said that “I no longer feel that I am the right man for the job” at a press conference on Thursday night.
North Carolina is tasked with replacing a position that rarely comes available, as the program seeks its sixth coach since 1952.
“I believe we’ve got the best job in college basketball,” UNC AD Bubba Cunningham said. “This job doesn’t come open very often. We need to spend a great deal of time thinking about who is the right person right now.”
A number of former North Carolina players have been rumored as possible replacements for Williams including Wes Miller, Jerry Stackhouse, Hubert Davis and Steve Robinson.
“The history and tradition here is winning,” Cunningham said. “We’ve had it in the family for a long period of time. That is important. But it’s not the only factor in trying to make a decision like this.”
Brown, a UNC alumni, expressed interest in the job at Chapel Hill when it was last open in 2003.
“I just want Roy to have a say in this thing,” Brown told Packer and Durham. “And I know, no matter who takes over, if Roy has touched his life, if Coach Smith has touched his life, we’ll be in good hands.”
Cunningham hasn’t provided a timeframe on when Williams’ replacement would be hired.