Monday, January 10, 2022

Former Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams to attend Tuesday’s game vs. Iowa State

Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self, and former coaches Larry Brown, Roy Williams and Ted Owens have a laugh while talking shop in preparation for the 60th Anniversary celebration of Allen Fieldhouse on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014.

Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self, and former coaches Larry Brown, Roy Williams and Ted Owens have a laugh while talking shop in preparation for the 60th Anniversary celebration of Allen Fieldhouse on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014.


Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said Monday that his predecessor, longtime KU coach Roy Williams, will be in attendance at Tuesday’s top-15 battle between No. 9 Kansas and No. 15 Iowa State.

Williams will attend the game as a fan with his wife Wanda. It will mark his first time at a KU game in Allen Fieldhouse since he left for North Carolina following the 2002-03 season.

Williams was back in the building on Oct. 27, 2014 to join Self, Larry Brown and Ted Owens for a celebration of the venue’s 60th anniversary. And he made waves with folks at UNC in 2008 by wearing a Jayhawk sticker and sitting in the stands for the 2008 national title game when Kansas defeated Memphis.

The opportunity to come to this game surfaced when Williams announced his retirement from coaching on April 1, 2021, exactly 14 years after Williams was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Self said Williams reached out to a couple of guys within the KU athletic department a couple of weeks ago to inquire about attending a game.

“He’s more than welcome,” Self said. “And (I think) it’s a given that our fans will pay homage and tribute him when he’s announced the way that he deserves for the 15 great years of service he gave this institution.”

After taking over at Kansas following Brown’s departure after the 1988 national title, the little-known assistant out of North Carolina led the Jayhawks to four Final Fours and two national title games from 1988-2003. He guided the Jayhawks to an overall record of 418-101 and his .805 winning percentage ranks second all-time to Self (.817) at Kansas.

At UNC, where Williams coached his alma mater from 2003-2021, the former KU coach won 485 games and three national titles in 18 seasons.

Self said Monday that Williams’ responsibilities and requirements with running the Tar Heels were the biggest reason he had not been back to Lawrence for a game until this season.

“As a head coach, or a coach in our profession, it’s hard to go back and watch somebody else play when you’re coaching a team,” Self said. “So, there’s nothing negative with that.

Upon retiring, Williams gushed about his time at Kansas, the honor of coaching the Jayhawks and the people he met and coached while at KU.

“This is the first (game back),” Self said. “But hopefully it won’t be the last and he’ll be very much like Coach Brown and Coach Owens (and) always feel welcome to come back whenever he wants to.”


Rodney Crain 4 months ago

Have him sit in Roberts chair, let him coach 1 more time in Allen!

Dirk Medema 4 months ago

Is there any uni with as much success in coaching hires?

Obviously, there have been great coaches elsewhere, and more NC at a few schools, but putting together a starting 5 & 2nd 5?

Dirk Medema 4 months ago

Great idea Rodney though I can see him wanting to relax with Wanda.

Rodney Crain 4 months ago

Not a chance.

At his North Carolina summer camps he allowed you to wear a North Carolina or Kansas uni, no one else's. He would not schedule KU as a non conference game. He has lamented about not winning a championship here.

He bleeds two kinds of blue.

He would love one more chance to sit on the bench, even for just a little while and the crowd, masks and all, would give him a standing ovation.

A well deserved standing ovation.

Vern Sheldon-Witter 4 months ago

So good to see the last 4 out of only 8-count em only 8 Coaches of KU Basketball. Ted Owens, Larry Brown, Coach Roy Williams and Coach Self all in one sitting. It should be a great night for KU Basketball! Rock Chalk!

Chad Smith 4 months ago

I still remember being so heartbroken and betrayed when he left. Especially in 2005 when KU lost to Bucknell and he was winning a national championship with UNC.

But in 2008 KU had its cathartic moment in the Final 4 against him. Ever since then, I've missed Ol' Roy. Glad to see him come back. He really did elevate KU in so many ways.

Welcome back Coach!

Edward Daub 4 months ago

Roy Williams resembles Huckleberry Hound.

3 NCAA Titles at Carolina, 0 NCAA Titles at Kansas.

Will the AFH Crowd cheer him or boo him? Time will tell.

Scott Proch 4 months ago

Our household always thought he was the cartoon character Underdog....

Like many, it took a while for me to heal but I know Dean had a lot to do with it. I heard an interview with Coach Brown that helped back then. They asked him (I think he was in Philly at the time) if he wanted the job. He said definitely not. Then they asked him, "If coach Smith asked you to take it would you." He said, he would be there in a heartbeat.

Give him a standing O!!

David Robinett 4 months ago

I used to love it when Roy would yank the entire starting five when they were playing crappy. I wish Bill would do that sometimes.

Bj Cassady 4 months ago

I never was upset when RW left for NC. He had many valid reasons, his mother was ill, his home was there. He gave us his best and coached his butt off. Anyone who thinks he betrayed us is full of it. He deserves to sit on the bench, a standing ovation.

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