His first coaching job was in 1973 as a high school basketball and golf coach at Charles D. Owen High School in Black Mountain, North Carolina. He coached basketball and boys' golf for five years, ninth-grade football for four years and served as athletic director for two years. His first season the team was 2-19. He kept coaching. He was determined.
In 1978, Williams was hired to come back to the University of North Carolina as a part-time assistant coach. In his terrific bookHard Work, with Tim Crothers, Coach Williams described how that happened:
"Every summer while I was coaching at Owen, I was invited to work at the UNC basketball camp. At the closing-night staff party in the summer of 1978, Coach Smith asked me if I was interested in coming back to North Carolina to be his part-time assistant coach. I was so excited and flattered. I couldn't really believe it. But there was a catch, and I asked Coach Smith if I could think about it and talk to my wife. I went back home and told Wanda that Coach Smith had offered me the job. I said, "Honey, it only pays $2,700 a year."
Wanda thought I was nuts. She said, "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. We've just built a house, our son is 15 months old, our friends and family all live here. We're making $30,000 between the two of us and you're asking me to go back to North Carolina for $2,700 a year?" "Honey, it'll work out." She looked into my eyes, exhaled, and said, "When do we leave?""
For the next eight years Williams hustled to make ends meet. He recounts some of the highlights:
"I had five jobs my first year. I ran a little basketball camp for the children of the university faculty and staff; at the end of each week I made $80 after expenses. I worked for a transport company taking staples out of eight-inch-thick stacks of bills, putting them in numerical order.
Every Sunday during the football and basketball seasons, I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning to drive videotapes of the UNC football and basketball coaches' shows to the local television stations in Greensboro and Asheville. I drove 504 miles and made $113 per trip, minus the money I spent on gas. I spent nine hours in the car. I did that for five years."
During the summers Williams drove all over the state selling North Carolina promotional calendars. "That first summer I drove 9,000 miles, sold 10,500 calendars in nine weeks, and made $2,400. I still have our income tax returns from 1980, and our combined income, two 30-year-olds with two kids, was $8,910. It was hard sometimes, but we managed."
In 1986 after thirteen years of determination Roy Williams became a full-time assistant coach at North Carolina.
What are you determined about?