The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday October 19th

Who will be UNC basketball's head coach after Roy Williams?

UNC guard Kendall Marshall, assistant coach Steve Robinson and head coach Roy Williams watch nervously from the bench as time winds down. The Tar Heels defeated Ohio 73-65 in overtime at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Friday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
Buy Photos UNC guard Kendall Marshall, assistant coach Steve Robinson and head coach Roy Williams watch nervously from the bench as time winds down. The Tar Heels defeated Ohio 73-65 in overtime at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Friday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ever since taking the job as head coach of North Carolina in 2003, Roy Williams has continued the school's winning history and cemented himself as one of the best coaches in college basketball history.

However, with the Hall of Famer at the age of 69, it's fair to begin wondering could take his place. Here are some candidates to consider — all with connections to UNC, of course — once Williams finally calls it a career.

Kenny Smith

"The Jet" played at UNC from 1983-87, while his son K.J. is currently a redshirt junior with the Tar Heels. The older Smith was once a candidate for the New York Knicks head coaching job; if he ever decides to leave his job as an analyst with TNT, leading the Tar Heels could be the right fit. 

Jerry Stackhouse

Stackhouse was a star guard for the Tar Heels from 1993-95 and went on to a successful 18-year career in the NBA. After retiring, he went onto the coaching scene, winning the NBA G League Coach of the Year award in 2017. 

Despite getting NBA buzz, he took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt in 2019. While the Commodores have struggled mightily this season, Stackhouse needs more time to recruit the players he needs to turn this struggling program around. If he succeeds, and his alma mater offers him a job, it would be hard to imagine Stackhouse turning it down. 

Hubert Davis

Davis played for UNC from 1988-92 before enjoying a 12-year NBA career. After his retirement, he became a respected college basketball analyst for ESPN and a co-host of College GameDay. 

He later returned to North Carolina to become an assistant coach in 2012 and also coaches the JV team. Davis’ knowledge of the game and experience within the program would certainly give him a chance to take the helm once Williams steps down. 

Jerod Haase

Haase knows Roy Williams very well — He played for the Hall of Fame coach when he was at Kansas and worked under him for four years before following Williams to UNC and coaching under him until 2012. 

Hasse then made the transition to head coach, accepting the job to head the program at UAB. In 2016, he was hired as the head coach of Stanford. After finishing his first few season around .500, Haase has led the Cardinal to a 16-5 record this season. 

It would only be fitting for Haase to return to the school that jumpstarted his coaching career. 

Steve Robinson

The bridge hire is something North Carolina has done in the past, namely with Bill Guthridge, who coached three seasons after Dean Smith's exit before retiring himself. 

Robinson has been an assistant coach at UNC since 2003, and also has prior head coaching experience at Tulsa and Florida State. If North Carolina doesn't find an option that excites it at the time of Williams’ retirement, the school can pass the torch onto Robinson and trust him to guide the program, if only for a few years.

@ryanheller23

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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