North Carolina’s Hubert Davis is one victory away from becoming the first person to win the Division I men’s basketball championship in his first full season as a coach.
In 1989, Steve Fisher was appointed interim coach for Michigan before the NCAA Championships and went 6-0 on his way to winning the championship. Jim Calhoun was in his 27th season as a coach when he won His first title, the same for Jim Boehm in Syracuse. Roy Williams was in his 17th season as a head coach when he won his first title with North Carolina in 2005. Mike Krzyowski won his first five championships in his 11th season at Duke and 16th as head coach.
Davis, 51, spent 12 years playing in the NBA and nine years as an assistant to Williams before taking over last April. led Tar Heels to victories over the defending National Champion, Baylor; Darling heroism, St. Peter; and their most hated rival, Duke, in Krzyzewski’s final match.
Nine other first-year coaches have mentored a team for the Final Four, most recently Bill Guthridge with North Carolina in 1998. Davis is sCoach ninth Tar Heels reaches the fourth final.
“I’m overwhelmed with thanks,” Davis said after the National Semifinals. “I’m thinking about the experiences I’ve been able to have. I’ve always dreamed of being a part of the program. And I thought I had to play for them, to think I should come back and be an assistant coach, and now I’m head coach for North Carolina State and we’re in the national championship game.”
He added, “When you look back, everything important happened in my life because they gave me this opportunity and the opportunity to be a part of this program. My wife and I fell in love there. We got married there. After I played in the NBA, we went back and raised our children.” The three are there. Now I’m the head coach there. It’s just a great deal.”
Davis was asked if Michael Jordan, who played for North Carolina in the ’80s, is expected to be in New Orleans on Monday. Jordan attended Final Four 2017 in Glendale, Arizona, when Tar Heel won.
“That would be great,” he said. “I don’t want him to just show up. I want him to play.”
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