After UNC men's basketball head coach Roy Williams announced his retirement on Thursday, senior writer Brian Keyes reached out to several previous sports editors of The Daily Tar Heel to ask them about their thoughts on the moment and their memories of the Hall of Fame coach. Here's what they had to say.
Brooke Pryor, Fall of 2013 Sports Editor
My dad and Roy grew up in the same area of Western N.C. at the same time. My dad always told me a story that he and Roy played against each other in high school. My dad fouled Roy, he fouled out, Roy missed the foul shots and the game went to overtime and Hendersonville (my dad’s team) won. When Roy’s book, 'Hard Work,' came out, a photo my dad swears is him from that game is included.
I don’t ask for autographs. Ever. But I made an exception for this one and asked Steve Kirschner if Roy could sign the picture in a copy of the book for a Christmas present. After a weekly avail, Kirschner called me back and I met Roy outside the work room and relayed the story. Roy said, “Now I don’t know about that.” And then gave a totally different description of the game, including starters for both teams, where his group won.
He signed the book, 'Doug, We need to talk. Roy.' When people ask me why I love sports, I tell them it’s the people. Roy is the best example of those people.
Chris Trenkle, 2018-2019 Sports Editor
The first time I covered a men’s basketball press conference I was admittedly nervous. It was a few days before UNC’s ACC opener against Wake Forest during the 2017-2018 season and Jalek Felton had just scored 12 points against Ohio State, so I knew I wanted to ask if his performance could lead to an increase in playing time. I remember getting my first question out of the way and Roy gave me a decent answer, so I was feeling confident in asking about Felton. I started to ask if Felton would get more playing time after his OSU performance and Roy gave me a deadpan look.
“Did you watch the game before Ohio State?” he asked. “I mean come on now…think about your questions. He sucked.”
Reporters around me started chuckling at what Roy said. I started to feel embarrassed, but as another reporter asked a question Roy looked at me and said “You haven’t been here as long as some of these other guys have.” At the time I didn’t think much of that, but now I look back at that video and laugh.