North Carolina coach Roy Williams tied mentor Dean Smith on the all-time wins list Monday night. The Tar Heels beat Yale 70-67 to give Williams his 879th career Division I victory as a head coach, tying him with Smith for fourth all-time.
“It’s a number,” Williams said. “It means I stayed around a long time, probably longer than some people wanted me to stay at places.”
Williams, who has led the Tar Heels since 2003-04, worked as an assistant for Smith at North Carolina for 10 seasons from 1978 to ’88.
The school honored Williams on the court immediately after the game, with Brandon Robinson and Garrison Brooks joining Smith’s son Scott in presenting Williams a framed picture of Smith and Williams together. Smith died in 2015 at age 83.