[2 April 2007]
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)
ATLANTA - If Roy Williams were a baseball player, he’d have to choose a cap to wear to his induction ceremony Sept.7 in Springfield, Mass.
“It would be a `Tar Hawk’” cap, he joked Monday after his selection to the Basketball Hall of Fame was announced. “It would be two different shades of blue.”
Williams grew up in Asheville, graduated from North Carolina and coached his alma mater Tar Heels to the 2005 NCAA title. In 15 seasons at Kansas, he directed the Jayhawks to four Final Fours.
He has 524 wins, 131 losses and a .800 winning percentage that leads active college coaches. Williams, 56, joins Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, the 1966 Texas Western NCAA champions and women’s basketball coaching great Van Chancellor in the induction class.
European coaches Pedro Ferrandiz and Mirko Novosel and the late NBA referee Marvin “Mendy” Rudolph also will be inducted.
Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, former North Carolina and South Carolina coach Frank McGuire, former N.C. State player David Thompson and the late coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines of Winston-Salem State are among those with Carolinas ties enshrined.
Williams learned the news Wednesday but was told to keep it a secret. He told Smith, but resisted telling former players Kirk Hinrich of Kansas and Marvin Williams of North Carolina at an Atlanta Hawks game.
“It’s beyond belief for me,” Williams said, “and the only thing I can think about is a bunch of great players and assistant coaches who made me look good, and hopefully will keep doing so for a long time.”