UNC Archive

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Defiant Williams intends to coach UNC for 6-10 more years

UNC coach Roy Williams brushed aside a question from the media about the possibility of losing his job and told the Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday that he intends to remain the Tar Heels coach for years to come. “It is a thrill to be here,” Williams told the group. “It’s not a thrill to walk in and see the nice people in the media doing their job, and the first […]

UNC coach Roy Williams brushed aside a question from the media about the possibility of losing his job and told the Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday that he intends to remain the Tar Heels coach for years to come.

“It is a thrill to be here,” Williams told the group. “It’s not a thrill to walk in and see the nice people in the media doing their job, and the first question asked is ‘do you think you’re going to lose your job?’ That’s not the nicest thing that has ever happened to me but that’s the world we live in right now.”

Williams said that even after years in Kansas, he always knew he’d end up back in his home state of North Carolina. “Hopefully I’m going to last another six to 10 years regardless of what some people in the media say,” he said.

Roy Williams.

Roy Williams.

Williams has been on the hot seat from those who believe he knew about the academic transgressions involving his players, that he was in on it or that he suspected but didn’t want to find out.

While not admitting to any of those things, Williams conceded that mistakes were made at Carolina.

“We screwed it up,” he said, speaking in general terms about the University. “We made some mistakes, there’s no question about that. Things happened that are so sad and that hurt. It’s unbelievable.”

He said the school is taking actions to correct the errors.

“We’ve had over 20 people lose their jobs,” Williams said. “We’ve made more changes than you can ever imagine.”

He indicated that change isn’t easy. “Now when I decide where I’m going to take the team for a pre-game meal, I check with 12 different committees and all 12 disciples of the Lord,” Williams said. “But change is good sometimes too. We needed to make some changes.”

He said he’s proud of the University of North Carolina. “I’m not happy about what happened,” Williams said. “I’m very sad, very mad about what happened. But I have a wonderful degree from there, as do some of you. I worked for mine and most of our guys did.”

Williams cut out to get to practice and no doubt avoid media after WTVD's Tamara Gibbs "ambushed" him on the way in to speak to the Raleigh Sports Club.

Williams cut out to get to practice and no doubt avoid media after WTVD’s Tamara Gibbs “ambushed” him on the way in to speak to the Raleigh Sports Club.

He said he doesn’t know everything that went on but “we’re going to keep fighting.” A Western movie fan, Williams said he could have used John Wayne and Clint Eastwood fighting on his team over the last couple of months.

He related a scene from Rio Bravo where a character played by actor Jack Elam is being criticized by John Wayne in the middle of a gunfight for the weapon he’s using. “You know what Jack Elam said?” Williams asked. “He looked up at him and said, ‘don’t mind if I shoot do ya?’ That’s what the dickens I’m gonna do – if you don’t mind I’m gonna coach my butt off for a long time.”

While defiant, he admits to this being a very difficult time for him. On top of the academic revelations, his wife has had a couple of recent surgeries and a good friend is battling pancreatic cancer. Plus, with the criticisms aimed at his character, he felt the need to address the situation with his children.

“It’s been the most difficult time for me by far,” he said. “Until recently, I’ve never really had to talk to my children and tell them, ‘your dad is the same dad he’s always been. He’s got the same values he’s always had and that’s never going to change.’”

The Raleigh Sports Club meeting was packed to hear UNC coach Roy Williams.

The Raleigh Sports Club meeting was packed to hear UNC coach Roy Williams.

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It’s Duke-Carolina football week but on Thursday night

dukecarolinafootballJust five days after evening its record at 5-5 with an exciting come-from-behind victory over Pitt, North Carolina travels to Durham to face the Blue Devils, who suffered a heartbreaking loss to Virginia Tech.

The Thursday, Nov. 20 game will be televised by ESPN and will kickoff at 7:45 p.m. from Wallace Wade Stadium.

Blue Devils still control their own fate as they try to capture another Coastal Division title and a trip to the Dr Pepper ACC Championship game in Charlotte.

Georgia Tech has finished their ACC campaign with a 6-2 conference record. If the Blue Devils win their next two games (North Carolina and Wake Forest) they will be the Coastal Division champions since they beat Tech in Atlanta in October.

It’s now time to put the Virginia Tech loss behind them and get ready for the job at hand.

At the end of the day, you have to get ready for North Carolina, especially on the short week,” said David Helton, Duke linebacker. “I think it might be a good thing that we have a game so soon, because it’s going to force us to really get our minds on our next game.”

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said he’s not sure how the team will respond. “It’s not just players, all of us as coaches will have the same challenge,” Cutcliffe said. “We’ve got to pick ourselves up and respond. We have no choice. We’re playing a North Carolina team that is a really good football team and we knew that before this game. Win or lose we knew that was the case. So we better just go get ourselves ready.”

The Tar Heels (5-5 overall, 3-3 ACC) are looking to end a two-game losing streak to Duke, which enters the game tied atop the ACC Coastal Division standings. The Tar Heels are one win away from bowl eligibility. UNC’s final two games come against its biggest rivals at Duke and home against NC State (Nov. 29).

Quarterback Marquise Williams leads the league’s third-highest scoring offense, which is averaging 35.9 points per game.
Williams ranks second in the league in total offense and is pushing for All-ACC honors.

Duke saw its four-game win streak come to a halt with a 17-16 loss at home to Virginia Tech last Saturday.

QUICK HITS
* With a win over Duke, Carolina will be bowl eligible for the second consecutive season and
sixth time in the last seven years.

*Carolina has won 11 of its last 12 games in Durham. The Tar Heels have won 21 of the last 24
against the Blue Devils, but have dropped the last two.

*QB Marquise Williams is second in the league in total offense, second in passing, fourth in scoring TDs and seventh in rushing.

*Carolina has scored 40 or more points in three of the last five games. The Tar Heels are third in
the ACC and 24th in the country averaging 35.9 points per game.

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Wolfpack, Tar Heels cross country teams qualify for national championships

crosscountry2The Atlantic Coast Conference will be well represented at this weekend’s NCAA Cross Country Championships, with eight women’s teams and four men’s teams participating. The championships are set for Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind.

Syracuse and Virginia earned automatic berths to the men’s championship after claiming regional titles while Florida State and North Carolina also earned berths in the 31-team field.

The Orange, led by top-10 finishers Martin Hehir (6th), Joel Hubbard (7th) and Dan Lennon (8th), captured the Northeast Regional by three points over Providence. The Cavaliers were paced by top-15 finishers Adam Visokay (6th), Kyle King (7th) and Zach Herriott (11th) en route to claiming the Southeast Regional title by a four-point margin over Furman.

NC State’s Sam Parsons qualified automatically as an individual based on his fourth place finish in the Southeast regional.

An NCAA-best eight ACC teams secured berths in the women’s championship following their regional performances. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 were tied for second with five teams each in the NCAA championship.

ACC teams qualifying for the women’s championship are Boston College, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Seminoles, led by individual champion Colleen Quigley, finished second at the South Regional while North Carolina, paced by individual champion Anne LeHardy, placed third at the Southeast Regional.

The NCAA Championships will be hosted by Indiana State on Nov. 23 at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s race will begin at noon ET, followed by the women’s race at approximately 1:15 p.m.

2014 NCAA Championship Team Qualifiers

Women (8)

Boston College+
Florida State*
North Carolina+
NC State+
Notre Dame+
Syracuse+
Virginia*
Virginia Tech+

Men (4)

Florida State*
Syracuse*
Virginia*
North Carolina+

*Automatic Team Qualifiers
+At-Large Team Qualifiers

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UNC tailback Khris Francis out for the season

Khris Francis.

Khris Francis.

An MRI has confirmed that North Carolina sophomore tailback Khris Francis tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee in the Tar Heels’ win over Pitt Saturday afternoon. Francis, a native of Durham, suffered the injury in the second quarter.

A surgery date has not yet been been determined.

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UNC’s Williams to speak and answer questions at Raleigh Sports Club

Roy Williams.

Roy Williams.

UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, embattled over academic violations involving some of his former players at North Carolina, will speak at the Raleigh Sports Club Wednesday, Nov. 19, and will be available to answer questions.

The club meets at Bradley Hall in Highland United Methodist Church at 1901 Ridge Road. Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting is from noon until 1 p.m. Attendance fee for members is $15 while guest fee is $25.       

David Reynolds, a basketball player at Ravenscroft School, will be honored as the RSC’s Student Athlete of the Week.

The annual membership fee is $70, which helps to fund the club’s scholarship fund. Each week from late August to early April meetings include a Southern buffet, door prizes, pick sheets and introduction to a deserving Student Athlete as well as hearing from a prominent sports figure as our guest speaker.
Raleigh Sports Club Membership Form

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Heels open season with a bland win

Brice Johnson.

Brice Johnson.

After all the non-basketball talk, UNC must at least be happy to talk about on-the-court problems now.

North Carolina jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the season opener and used balanced scoring in an overall uninspiring 76-60 over NC Central in Chapel Hill.

“It’s a ‘W,’” UNC coach Roy Williams said blandly. “Not the prettiest thing in the world but Coach (Levelle) Moton’s bunch did some good things.”

NCCU went to the zone and bottled up UNC guard Marcus Paige, who was chosen by ACC media as the preseason player of the year, with a box in one. Paige finished with just eight points on a 2 for 8 performance from the field.

The Tar Heels, who led by as many as 14 points in the first half, had their lead cut to nine at 28-19 at the half.

Carolina started hot in the second half, extending the lead to 36-20 on a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays by freshman starter Justin Jackson and Isiah Hicks, along with a baseline jumper by JP Tokoto.

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Fedora says Tar Heels anxious to get back on the field

Larry Fedora.

Larry Fedora.

The North Carolina football team had a bye week to think about the loss to big loss to Miami. It was big on the scoreboard and big because it ended any reasonable hopes of a title.

“I think that they’re anxious to get back out on the field and play, I really do,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said. “I think they were disappointed with what happened. We got all of that out of our system this past week and I think they’re anxious to get back out on the field and play football.”

He said the team had good practices during the open week and that everybody is fresh. “Everybody is as healthy as we’re going to get at this point and we’re just raring to go into this next game,” he said.

Fedora said it will be a tough homecoming game Saturday against Pitt (12:30, ACC Network).

“They are totally committed to running the football and being physical up front and hitting you with the play action pass when you commit everybody,” he said point out that Pitt has the leading rusher in the country in James Conner.

“He’s a big 6’2, 250 pound bruising guy that can go,” Fedora said. “They lead him with a 270 pound fullback. They are really big up front on the offensive line. Their quarterback is doing a nice job, I think he’s the second leading rusher on their team and you have the Boyd kid who makes all kinds of plays out at wide receiver for them. So we have our work cut out for us to get ready for this game, we haven’t looked on ahead I assure you.”

The Tar Heels finish the regular season at Duke and hosting NC State. “We’ve got to put all of our focus on Pitt,” Fedora said.

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UNC teammates capture weekly swimming/diving awards

Jack Nyquist.

Jack Nyquist.

North Carolina sophomore Jack Nyquist and teammate Elissa Dawson helped the Tar Heels capture two ACC Swimming and Diving weekly awards, as each turned in solid performances against Louisville this past weekend. Also earning weekly honors were Florida State’s Connor Knight and Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen after strong performances of their own.

Florida State’s Knight, who earned ACC Male Swimmer of the Week honors, continued to show off his dominance in the fly races while helping the Seminole relays to four season best times. In the 200 fly, Knight recorded an NCAA B-cut, turning in a season best time of 1:45.04. The senior’s time is the fifth best mark in the country this season and the second fastest in the ACC. In the second portion of the meet, Knight clocked a 47.23 in the 100 fly, marking the fastest swim in the NCAA this season in the event.

North Carolina’s Nyquist took home the ACC Male Diver of the Week after he swept the diving events in the Tar Heels dual meet against Louisville. The Alpharetta, Georgia, native edged out teammate Sean Burston in the 1-meter diving, prevailing by 1.43 points. In the 3-meter competition, Nyquist was dominant as he scored 423.82 points, a score nearly 59 points ahead of second-place Sean Piner of Louisville. His 3-meter score was the highest of the season and just shy of his collegiate career-best of 436.58 set against Texas as a freshman.

Louisville’s Kylliainen grabbed ACC Female Swimmer of the Week after a strong showing against the Tar Heels. The senior finished the meet with NCAA B-cut times in four different races. In the first event of day two, Kylliainen swam a 25.71 split as a member of the 200-medley relay team which edged their Tar Heel counterparts by 0.84 seconds. The Towson, Maryland, native won the 200 IM with an NCAA B-cut time of 1:58.48 and the 200-fly with another B-cut time of 1:56.37. Kylliainen also won the women’s 100 backstroke with an NCAA B-cut time of 54.29 and dominated the 400 IM with a B-cut time of 4:14.04.

North Carolina’s Dawson was named ACC Female Diver of the Week after winning both diving events to help lead the Tar Heels edge the Cardinals. Dawson won the 1-meter with a season-high score of 323.48, nearly 27 points ahead of second place. On the 3-meter board, Dawson set a new school record score of 384.08, breaking her own record score of 355.13 set earlier this year against Georgia. The freshman has won five of eight events to date in North Carolina’s four dual meets.

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Carolina women’s soccer earns No. 2 national seed

uncsoccerHighlighted by four Top-4 national seeds, the Atlantic Coast Conference placed six teams in the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship field announced Monday afternoon.

ACC Champion Florida State (18-1-1) was awarded a No. 1 national seed to mark the fourth straight year the Seminoles have earned a No. 1 seed (fifth overall). ACC regular season co-champion North Carolina (12-3-2) and the 2014 ACC Championship runner-up Virginia (18-2-0) were given No. 2 national seeds, and Notre Dame (12-5-2) was tabbed a No. 4 seed. All four national seeded teams will host first round games on either Nov. 14, 15 or 16.

Clemson (13-3-2) and Virginia Tech (14-5-0) join those four in the field of 64 to mark the 16th straight year that at least six ACC teams have been selected to the tournament field.

North Carolina will be seeking its 22nd NCAA Championship and 23rd national title overall. The Tar Heels are the only Division I program that has earned a spot in the NCAA Championship each of the 33 years since its inception in 1982 and owns a 118-9-3 record in the event.

Several other ACC teams will extend notable streaks with this year’s NCAA appearances. Notre Dame will play in its 22nd NCAA Tournament and is in search of its fourth title. Virginia is in the field for the 21st straight year and 27th overall. Florida State has been part of the tournament every year since 2000 (15 straight appearances), and has reached the College Cup seven times during that run, including each of the past three seasons. Fresh off its first College Cup berth last season, Virginia Tech is in the tournament for the seventh straight year (eighth overall), while Clemson is among the field of 64 for the first time since the 2007 season and 15th time overall.

First-round matches will be played at campus sites Nov. 14, 15 or 16. First-round matches include Florida State hosting Sun Belt Champion South Alabama (19-2-1), North Carolina hosting Summit League Champion South Dakota State (10-7-2), Virginia hosting Big South Champion High Point (12-4-4), Virginia Tech hosting A-10 Champion Dayton (12-8-2) and Notre Dame hosting Horizon League Champion Valparaiso (14-1-4). Clemson will travel to Columbia, S.C., for its first-round match against South Carolina (13-5-3). The Tigers defeated the Gamecocks earlier this season, 1-0, on Sept. 5.

Second round matches will be played Friday, Nov. 21, at campus sites, and third-round matches will be played Sunday, Nov. 23, at the same campus sites. Quarterfinal matches will be played Nov. 28 and 29, also on campus sites.

The 33rd annual NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played Dec. 5 and Dec. 7 at FAU Soccer Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. The first national semifinal on Friday, Dec. 5 will be played and shown live on ESPNU at 5 p.m., and the second semifinal will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. and air live on ESPNU. The national championship match will take place Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m., and will also broadcast live on ESPNU.

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UNC field hockey hosts NCAA tourney games; Duke also makes field

uncfieldhockeySix ACC field hockey teams earned bids to the 2014 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, announced Sunday night by the NCAA Field Hockey committee. The league claimed five of the eight at-large spots in the tournament and two of the four host sites were awarded to ACC programs.

North Carolina earned the top overall seed and will host first and second round games. Syracuse was also selected as a host site and enters the field as the No. 4 seed. Wake Forest clinched the league’s automatic berth by winning the ACC Championship, while Boston College, Duke, and Louisville claimed at-large bids and will begin tournament play on the road.

The announcement marks the second-straight year that at least six ACC teams have earned a postseason bid, while at least half of the league has claimed a tournament spot for 20 straight years.

North Carolina (17-3), the top overall seed in the tournament for the third time in the past four years, will face the winner of the Richmond/ Liberty play-in game. The Tar Heels will be making their 31st appearance in the tournament in the last 32 years. Duke (12-6) will also open tournament play in Chapel Hill and will face Big Ten champion Northwestern in the first round. Both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils advanced to the national semifinals last season, with Duke finishing as the national runner-up.

Syracuse (15-5) earned a postseason bid for the seventh consecutive year and second straight as a host site. The Orange will take on Boston University in the first round. Boston College (13-6) will play Penn State in the opening round at Syracuse.

ACC champion Wake Forest (14-6) is in the field for the 14th time in the last 16 years and will face Albany in the first round in College Park, Maryland.

Louisville (15-5) is headed to Storrs, Connecticut, and will open tournament play against Stanford. The Cardinals are making their fourth tournament appearance in program history and first since 2008.

The six ACC tournament teams are ranked in the top 11 spots in the NFHCA Top 20, and have all been ranked during the entire season. The league combined to go 70-11 against nonconference competition, the best record of any conference, and was 19-4 against NCAA tournament teams during the regular season.

The first round on Saturday, Nov. 15, and the second round on Sunday, Nov. 16, will be held at campus sites. The semifinals and championship, hosted by the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, will be played on Nov. 21 and 23.