UPDATED 04/05/2021 at 5:30 P.M.
Hubert Davis will be the new head coach of the North Carolina men's basketball team, the Raleigh News & Observer reported on Monday. Davis, an assistant coach on Roy Williams' bench for the past nine years and a player at UNC under Dean Smith from 1988-1992, will ascend to the position after Williams announced his retirement on April 1. He will be the first Black head coach in program history.
“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,’’ Davis said in a press release on Monday. “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 Guskiewicz and Bubba Cunningham; I appreciate their faith in me and I look forward to working closely with them."
As a member of the Tar Heels' roster, Davis played in 137 games, scored 1,615 points in his career, and still holds the record for career three-point shooting at 43.5 percent. After being picked 20th overall by the New York Knicks in the 1992 NBA Draft, he had a 12-year career in the NBA where he posted 8.2 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists on average. He holds the third-highest career three-point percentage in NBA history at 44.1 percent.
“I love this University," Davis said in the press release. "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.”
Davis joined Williams' staff in 2012 and was a part of the coaching staff for the 2017 NCAA National Championship. Prior to coaching, Davis had a seven-year career at ESPN as an analyst and co-host of the College GameDay show. He has no previous head coaching experience at a Division I school, but has been credited as one of the main reasons for UNC's success in recruiting in recent years.
“Hubert Davis is the best leader we can possibly have for our men’s basketball program," director of athletics Bubba Cunningham said in the press release. "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.”
Williams' retirement came after a 33-year career as a head coach, spending the past 18 years in charge of the UNC men's program. In his time with the Tar Heels, Williams won three national championships in 2005, 2009 and 2017, and is the only men's basketball coach with 400 career wins at two different Division I schools.