North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham interviewed a lineup of men’s basketball coaching candidates suggested by former coach Roy Williams and all have ties to UNC, according to two sources familiar with the process.
The list included, but was not limited to, current UNC assistant coaches Steve Robinson and Hubert Davis, Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse, Monmouth head coach King Rice and UNC Greensboro head coach Wes Miller. In addition to interviewing for the head coach position, one source indicated several candidates were also asked their interest in joining the staff in a supporting role. Cunningham did not respond to a request for comment by The News & Observer.
Robinson served as arguably Williams’ most trusted assistant coach on his staff at Kansas for eight years and all 18 seasons of his time in Chapel Hill. Robinson spent a combined seven seasons as a head coach at Tulsa and Florida State. He’s had the second-longest tenure of an assistant coach at Carolina, behind Bill Guthridge’s 30 years on Dean Smith’s staff.
Williams handpicked Davis to join his staff after he served as a college basketball analyst on ESPN. Davis has been an assistant coach the last nine seasons and also served as head coach for Carolina’s junior varsity squad. Davis played at UNC under Smith from 1988-92 and had a 12-year career in the NBA.
Stackhouse has been the head coach at Vanderbilt for two seasons. Prior to that he won a G-League championship with Toronto Raptors’ affiliate franchise and was an assistant coach for the Raptors for one season. Stackhouse helped lead the Tar Heels to a 1995 Final Four appearance before embarking on an 18-year NBA career.
Rice was the 2021 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after leading Monmouth to its third league title in the past six seasons. Rice, who played for Smith and the Heels from 1987-91, has been the Hawks’ head coach for 10 seasons.
Miller has led the Spartans to four Southern Conference regular-season titles in 10 seasons at the helm. He’s twice led UNCG to the NCAA Tournament including this season. Miller transferred from James Madison to play for Williams and was a member of Carolina’s 2005 national title team.
Cunningham said on a video call with reporters Monday that he preferred to hire a candidate with head coaching experience, but it was not a prerequisite any more than being in the “Carolina family.”
“I don’t want to be myopic on, as I said, the head coaching thing,” Cunningham said. “I don’t want to be myopic on the Carolina experience, because they both bring great value in different ways.”
Williams announced his retirement on Thursday after 18 seasons and winning three national championships.