Williams' UNC Contract Doesn't Mention Retirement

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Roy Williams announced he was stepping down as University of North Carolina head men's basketball coach Thursday because he no longer felt like he was the right man for the job.

Based on the terms of his contract, UNC had all the confidence in the word in the 70-year-old Williams, who had won three national championships during his 18 years heading the Tar Heels program.

As reported by The State in Columbia, S.C., UNC had extended its deal with the legendary Williams eight years as recently as 2018 (two years later, the expiration date was pushed back by one month).

Both the 2018 extension and the 2020 amended contract state that Williams “at his option shall have the right to unilaterally terminate the entire Agreement at any time upon 120 days prior notice to the University.” The word "retirement" is never mentioned, nor is any mention given to alternative employment or roles within the university or athletic department other than “men’s head basketball coach,” according to The State.

Williams' base salary in the first year of the extension was $541,778, with supplemental compensation exceeding $3 million annually. Base pay was set to rise each year, reaching $800,000 in 2027-28 — the final year of the contract.

As part of the amended deal, Williams received $53,000 for reaching the NCAA tournament in 2021. UNC lost in the first round to Wisconsin. Williams had gone undefeated in 29 previous first-round appearances as a head coach.

Before the extension, Williams’s contract was set to expire in 2020. Coaches typically wish to have several seasons remaining on their contracts to help with recruiting, The State reported.

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