CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Dean Smith, who watched Matt Doherty's news conference from the crowd, rather than share the dais, dismissed suggestions he was stung by Kansas coach Roy Williams' rejection of the UNC job offer.
"All I said to him was you make your decision," Smith said of Williams, who declined the job last week. "Don't do it for me. Don't do it for the university. You make the decision that's best for you."
Smith, who is in the final year of his contract with the school, said he will remain active but will not offer suggestions to new coach Doherty unless approached.
"I'm not going to change," Smith said. "The first year with Bill Guthridge I did more. He asked me into the tape room. But I didn't do much of that the last two years.
"I'm sure we'll talk basketball. (Doherty) might ask me questions but I won't ever interfere."
Where was Matt Doherty when athletics director Dick Baddour called to ask him to interview for the North Carolina coaching job?
Wal-Mart, of course.
Doherty and his family were shopping last Thursday night about the time Roy Williams was telling the world he planned to stay in Kansas rather than take the North Carolina coaching job.
Before Baddour held a brief news conference to address Williams' announcement, he called Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White for permission to talk with Doherty. Shortly after Baddour's news conference, he phoned Doherty.
"I tried to get to a private aisle, the tissue aisle where there were some paper napkins or something," said Doherty, who was in South Bend, Ind.
"I went where there wasn't a lot of activity and talked business.
"I don't know if it was an omen but as I was talking (to Baddour) a kid comes walking at me in a North Carolina basketball shirt.
"Then (two days later) when I was in Indianapolis, who do I see but Eric Montross' father (Scott). I needed to buy some socks. I said this may be an omen. He said it is. He was convinced I needed to be here."
LOOKING FOR WORK: UNC assistant coaches Phil Ford, Dave Hanners and Pat Sullivan were not retained by Matt Doherty, meaning they will have to find jobs.
"That just kills me," former coach Dean Smith said. "But I do believe that every head coach has to hire his own assistants."
While the head coaching job was vacant, Sullivan and Hanners were on the road recruiting for North Carolina understanding that the new coach may not retain them.
The assistants signed new one-year contracts that went into effect July1 and Baddour indicated those would be honored until each assistant found another job.
Doherty met with Ford, Hanners and Sullivan Tuesday to explain why he wanted to bring his assistants with him.
Doherty's assistants are Doug Wojcik, who spent nine years as an assistant at Navy; Fred Quartlebaum, an assistant at Fairfield, Holy Cross, Towson State and Notre Dame; Bob MacKinnon, former head coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; and David Cason, a former assistant at Eastern Illinois.
MATT ON MCKILLOP: Doherty got into coaching by spending three years as an assistant on Bob McKillop's staff at Davidson. Having spent three years on Wall Street before getting into coaching, Doherty said the time with McKillop helped shape him as a coach.
"The thing I learned (from McKillop) was working hard," Doherty said. "He's one of the hardest workers I've ever been around. I hope I can work half as hard as him."
DOHERTY'S SCHEDULE: Doherty didn't waste any time getting to work.
After his news conference, he planned to make some recruiting calls to introduce himself as the Tar Heels coach.
While his assistants hit the road this morning for recruiting, Doherty plans to have 30-minute individual meetings with the returning North Carolina players. When he finishes the meetings, Doherty will go back to recruiting.