Roy Williams ended his search for a new assistant coach on his staff naming ESPN analyst and former Tar Heel basketball player Hubert Davis to fill the role vacated when Jerod Haase left to become had coach at UAB. Via UNC.
“I am very excited, thankful and honored to re-join the Carolina basketball program as an assistant to Coach Williams,” says Davis. “I loved being a part of college basketball during my time at ESPN by attending practices and games and developing relationships with players and coaches. Now I will have the opportunity to do this on a more personal level at a university and with a basketball program that I have loved my entire life.”
The Burke, Va., native played in 137 games as a Tar Heel from 1988-92, during which time UNC went 102-37, won the 1989 and 1991 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournaments and played in the 1991 Final Four. He scored 1,615 points, an average of 11.8 per game, and holds the UNC record for career three-point percentage at .435 (197 of 453). He scored in double figures 80times, had 23 games with 20 or more points, including 25 against Kansas in the 1991 national semifinals.
Davis averaged 21.4 points and earned second-team All-ACC honors as a senior. He scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games that season, including 20 games with 20 or more points and 30 or more in four games. He netted a career-high 35 points at Duke on March 8, 1992.
As a junior, Davis made 64 of 131 three-pointers, a percentage of .489 that is second-best in UNC history. He shares the UNC single-game record for three-pointers, as he made eight at Florida State as a senior
“I am ecstatic to announce that Hubert Davis will be joining our program as an assistant coach to replace Jerod Haase,” says Williams. “Jerod was phenomenal as a player and assistant and I am elated that I can fill this spot with Hubert. I helped recruit him to Carolina in 1988, coached him in the World University Games in 1991 and have always admired him on and off the court. I knew the day would eventually come when I would need to replace staff members as they moved on. For the last four or five years Hubert has alwaysbeen on my mind in case a spot did come open. I didn’t know if I could get him to come back, but I knew I wanted him to be the first option. Coaching is about teaching, relationships and passion and I feel Hubert is the perfect choice. Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from what he adds to our staff.
“I really was overjoyed by the interest from former players and I knew I wanted the hire to be a former Tar Heel. I considered several current college coaches as well as people wanting to get into college coaching – it was a fabulous group. Guys like Shammond Williams are not in college coaching now, but is going to be great when his time comes. We also had interest from NBA assistants, so it truly was a diverse group, but Hubert is taking the job and I know all former Tar Heels will be extremely happy.
“Again, I am ecstatic to make this announcement and look forward to working with Hubert. My entire staff and team are excited about Hubert and his family being with us.”
I am actually a little surprised. I had seen UNC fans express a desire for someone like Davis or Kenny Smith or Eric Montross to take the job but I had my doubts someone currently out of coaching and doing TV/radio would be willing to come on board as an assistant. Obviously Davis was looking for a change and it is certainly a nice move for him to return to Chapel Hill where he and his uncle Walter Davis played.
In evaluating the hire, I like it. From the perspective of UNC’s tradition this is someone who played for Dean Smith and went to a Final Four in 1991. More than just being a player on the roster, Davis was a really good player since he is only one of four Tar Heel to average more than 20 ppg under Coach Smith(Michael Jordan, Phil Ford and Brad Daughtery were the other three.) Davis is also the career leader in three point shooting percentage having hit 43% of his threes over the course of his career. Not that UNC has struggled developing guards it cannot hurt to have someone like Davis on the staff.
Aside from the basketball aspects, the fact Davis has been working in TV doing analysis and being in a position to be critical/objective should be useful if he brings that same eye to Chapel Hill as a member of the staff. Granted Davis has no coaching experience but I think there is a world of difference between being a young former player just starting out versus Davis who has at least been spending time evaluating and analyzing college basketball teams. I would expect he could come in and provide some valuable input, more so than you would get otherwise.
The other aspect is recruiting and that is the area where Davis will have the learning curve. Still, this is a person with a great personality and should be an asset on the recruiting trail interacting with players.
Overall, this is a great day for UNC basketball. Congrats to Coach Davis and welcome home.