Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2005 (Revised October 2005)

Coach Roy Williams: What Next? (A)

by Thomas J. DeLong, Christoper Chang and Scott Schweitzer


Roy Williams, head coach of the Kansas University Men's Basketball Team, was facing a major decision. The recent resignation of the coach at the University of North Carolina (UNC) had lead to speculation that Williams, a UNC alumnus, would be named as its new coach. Williams had actually been offered the head coaching job at UNC in 2000, but he turned it down to remain at Kansas. However, circumstances had drastically changed in the past three years, making the impending decision substantially more complicated. Recently, Williams had grown increasingly frustrated with his boss, whose philosophy on college athletics drastically differed from his own. Meanwhile, UNC, an institution with an unparalleled history of college basketball success, had suffered from several disappointing seasons and was in search of a new leader to restore the program to its original stature. For Williams, the opportunity to return to his beloved alma mater and rescue the program from its recent woes was both electrifying and humbling, but it was offset by his deep loyalty to Kansas. Williams knew that the upcoming championship game would be difficult, but he recognized that it paled in comparison to the decision he would be forced to make after the game. Williams must not only confront the decision but struggle with issues of succession planning, career development, and leadership.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Resignation and Termination; Job Offer; Leading Change; Management Succession; Performance Improvement; Personal Development and Career; Sports; Kansas; North Carolina;


DeLong, Thomas J., Christoper Chang, and Scott Schweitzer. "Coach Roy Williams: What Next? (A)." Harvard Business School Case 405-070, June 2005. (Revised October 2005.)