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'North Carolina is going to show up': Hubert Davis ready to continue UNC's legacy as new basketball head coach

Hubert Davis delivered emotional remarks when expressing what this new role means to him, and how much former head coaches Dean Smith and Roy Williams taught him.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — UNC-Chapel Hill formally introduced Hubert Davis as the new men's basketball head coach on Tuesday at the Dean E. Smith Center. Davis was named to replace Roy Williams, who recently announced his retirement. He was an assistant coach under Williams for nine years. 

"I'm proud, thankful, humbled, and appreciative of being your new men's basketball coach for the University of North Carolina," Davis said.

Davis reflected on his time at UNC as a player, saying the first time he stepped foot on campus "it felt like home." 

He became emotional when speaking about his relationship with Roy Williams. Davis said when he learned Williams would attend his introductory news conference he "had to see him" beforehand, adding that he will miss Williams' presence in the office. He said he will keep existing pictures of Williams hanging up in his new office because he needs "the presence of Coach Williams around [him]."  

“I love him to death and am thankful for him giving me a chance. I can’t believe he’s here today," Davis said. 


“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," he continued. 

He is a 12-year NBA veteran and a former Tar Heel guard. He’s also a Winston-Salem native.

This is his ninth season as a member of the Carolina basketball coaching staff. His duties included recruiting, bench coaching, and scouting. He has also served as the head coach of the UNC junior varsity team.

“Hubert Davis is the best leader we can possibly have for our men’s basketball program. 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," Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said. 

Credit: WFMY News 2
Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams


Roy Williams released the following statement:

Hi, this is Roy Williams. I used to be the head basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. Now I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to be here in the Smith Center to go out on that court to the press conference to see Hubert Davis named as the head basketball coach at North Carolina. When I say thrilled, it’s all in capital letters.

In 1987-88, I went with Coach Dean Smith into Hubert Davis’s home. Coach Smith said, ‘I don’t know if you’re ever going to be able to play here, Hubert, and I don’t want to do this.’ I got in the car with Coach and I said, ‘Coach, I think he’ll play more than you think he will because I think he’s so competitive and so driven.’ Hubert told coach Smith, ‘You’ll never know unless you give me a chance.’ Coach Smith a couple days later called him and said, ‘I listened to what you said and I’m going to offer you a scholarship to North Carolina.’ Hubert committed to Coach Smith right then.

Hubert Davis was an overachiever as a basketball player. He was a Ronald McDonald all-American and he ended up scoring 1,600 points here at North Carolina. Hubert was an overachiever who also became a first-round draft choice. Hubert Davis was an overacheiver who also played 12 years in the NBA. I’ve never known a finer person in my entire life who has a switch he turns on and can be as competitive as anybody around. Hubert Davis will not be an overachiever as a coach to me because I think he’s going to be great.

Hubert, welcome to that seat as the head basketball coach at North Carolina. You will love it. I will love you sitting there. I will be here cheering. I won’t ever criticize you, I will blame it on the officials. You are the finest young man I’ve ever known in my life. This is hard because I love this program, but you love this program and have the same passion that I do and you’ll be better than me. Congratulations son.


Davis played in 137 games as a Tar Heel from 1988-92, during which time UNC went 102-37, won the 1989 and 1991 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournaments and played in 1991 Final Four. He scored 1,615 points and holds the UNC record for career three-point percentage at .435. He had 23 games with 20 or more points.

Davis graduated from UNC in 1992 with a degree in criminal justice.

“I love this University. 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 said.


The New York Knicks selected Davis in the first round of the 1992 NBA Draft. He played 12 seasons in the NBA, scoring 5,583 points. He is currently third in NBA history in three-point percentage at .441, according to UNC-Chapel Hill. 

During his NBA career, he also played 4 seasons with the New York Knicks, 1 season with the Toronto Raptors, 4 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, 2 seasons with the Washington Wizards, 2 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and 1 season with the Brooklyn Nets.

Davis will become the 19th Head Coach in program history for the Tar Heels. 

“I am very pleased that Hubert Davis will continue his outstanding Carolina career as our next men’s basketball coach,’’ Guskiewicz said. “He directly connects our storied past with our exciting future and shows a deep passion for putting our student athletes in the best position to succeed on and off the court. I can’t wait to see him on campus as the face of our men’s basketball program,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said. 

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