With Friday’s second round win over Villanova, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams advanced his Tar Heels into the third round for a matchup with his former team Kansas, but he also put himself in an elite coaching class. Williams won his 700th game as a Division I men’s college basketball coach, joining the likes of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim as active head coaches with 700 career victories.
In his 25th season as a head coach, at only Kansas and UNC, Williams has brought seven teams to the Final Four, winning a pair in Chapel Hill in 2005 and 2009. Following the win, Reggie Bullock presented Williams with his own jersey commemorating the milestone.
“You know, I’m human,” Williams told reporters following the historic win. “I wanted to get 700. I’d like to get 800, 900, 1,000, 1,500, but I know that’s not going to happen. But my focus was not on that. It really wasn’t. It was trying to get No. 25 and have this team stay and play another game.
The 700th victory wasn’t easy as North Carolina blew a 20-point lead to hang on to a 78-71 win over the Wildcats. Now, the Tar Heels have to focus on top-seeded Kansas in Sunday’s third round matchup. Williams, who spent 15 seasons in Lawrence, said on Thursday, “When I was a coach at Kansas, it was my favorite school. North Carolina was my second-favorite school. I happen to be coaching at North Carolina now, and it’s my favorite school, and Kansas is my second-favorite school.”
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.