Dear Coach Williams,
It is my hope that a player on your team or someone on your staff happens to send you a link to my letter for you to read. While the two National Championships at UNC are something I will always remember, I’ll never forget the day as a child when I met you as you were leaving Carmichael at the conclusion of a UNC Women’s Basketball game. It’s rare nowadays that someone in your position not only shows friendliness and politeness, but actually will take a few seconds out of your busy schedule to take a picture and shake hands with a young fan. Thanks for taking time to speak with me for a brief moment. I’ll never forget it!
Anyways, I just wanted to write a quick letter to thank you for what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will bring in the future to UNC basketball. I know this past year has been tough on you and hasn’t gone as planned. You must be exhausted and stressed more than you ever have been. April is coming, so maybe you get to take a nice long vacation and relax some for a change.
Fans have constantly attacked your coaching, recruiting, and in-game decisions for the past several seasons. I think that is just an unfair part of being the head coach. I believe you are coaching to the best of your ability and are working harder than ever to correct the issues this team is having. It’s not a fans’ right to tell the coach what he is doing wrong. A fan is nothing more than a fan and a coach is a coach. You’re in that position for a reason, and it’s because you’re good at your job.
It’s not your fault PJ Hairston made the choices he made, Reggie Bullock departed early, and one lady seems intent on bringing the academic integrity of this program down. As far as Mrs. Willingham is concerned, she claims she has proof but doesn’t want to name names to save the students “embarrassment.” I think she is stalling because she knows you’re right when you defend your team and that she is wrong. Seeing how you stand up for your players and what you believe in is something admirable. Many people would just give up, or wouldn’t try at all to defend their players. These are not excuses for the struggles you and your team are facing, but they’re a test to make everyone stronger and hungry to prove everyone wrong.
Seeing how you interact with your players, recruits, and their families is something all coaches can learn from. You take the time to not only make sure your players are doing well, but you’ve been known to check in on their families. To you, your team and everyone involved in the program – as well as their families – is a part of your family and it’s quite pleasant to see how much you care about everyone.
You’re commonly blamed for not recruiting “dominant” players that Kentucky and Duke recruits, but I love how you recruit. You find players that are talented but also need time to develop. But most importantly, you recruit players who set an example on and off the court by staying out of trouble and doing well in their classes among other things. It’s the Carolina Way! We don’t believe in “bad boys” and poor academics being allowed to wear our uniform.
Thank you for your ten seasons as our head coach in which you put in much time, hard work, and many miles to make UNC a better program that represents our community. Thank you for two national titles, eight ACC championships, and our many trips to the “Big Dance” even if we didn’t come home with the big trophy. There are very few who can compare to you!
I hope you stick around for a while and coach the players to become better and lead this team to many more championships during your tenure.
Thanks for all you’ve done Coach!
Editor of Keeping It Heel