Roy Williams: ‘These kids on the court were my salvation’

North Carolina coach Roy Williams has never been particularly shy about showing his emotions both in victory and defeat, so it should come as no surprise that he had to fight tears after a disappointing loss to Texas A&M in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The No. 2-seeded Tar Heels were upset and blown out by the No. 7-seeded Aggies 86-65 on Sunday. However, the emotion Williams showed in the aftermath had little to do with the result and he was extremely honest about what this group has meant to him over the last four years.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I love these kids,” Williams said in his postgame press conference. “If you only had any idea how much fun that they have been for me. Three of the last four years have been very difficult and those kids were my salvation. They really were.

“Things were not pleasant. I didn’t like what people were saying to me. I didn’t like what they were saying about me. I didn’t like getting a piece of mail that was addressed to Mr. Cheating Bastard. And so those kids on the court were my salvation. And you have no idea how much fun that was.”

As you can see in this video posted to Twitter by the North Carolina basketball page, Williams made those statements through tears, making it clear just how sincere he was being.

And that’s been Williams’ calling card throughout his time as a college basketball coach. Despite all of the other stuff swirling around the sport and around North Carolina athletics, he truly loves and deeply cares about his players.

Those deeply personal connections are what have helped the Tar Heels continue to recruit at a high level and as long as Williams is the head coach it’ll likely continue to be that way for North Carolina.

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