Kansas fans everywhere can finally exhale. Roy Williams is staying at the University of Kansas. Capping off a long and taxing week with an emotional press conference, Coach Williams announced his decision to remain in Lawrence.
“The decision I made came after the toughest 7 days of my life,” said Williams referring to the last week spent weighing his decision. “If you had put a gun to my head last Thursday, I would have said I was going to North Carolina. I took a walk with my wife and told her I was going to North Carolina and when we came back and sat down drinking some juice I told her I couldn’t leave Kansas. That’s how back-and-forth I was all week.”
Coach Williams indicated the deciding factor was the family atmosphere that he helped to create around the Kansas Basketball Program. “I did what Coach Smith, Coach Guthridge and Eddie Fogler taught me, I made the decision based on my players. I could not leave them.”
The press conference was filled with former players that had assembled to hear their coach’s decision. He acknowledged them as he answered questions from the media.
Williams truly agonized over the last 7 days with Thursday’s self-imposed deadline looming. The decision to turn down the school that he dreamed of playing for as a kid and spurning the state where he and his family grew up was not an easy one. “Telling Dean Smith no was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do,” said an exhausted Williams. “I owe all of my professional success to him.” Still he found the need to stay at Kansas.
Kansas fans were happy to hear the news as the buzz swarmed Lawrence. An estimated crowd of 16,000 gathered at Memorial Stadium to watch the press conference on the stadium’s big screen. They were definitely in a party mood after hearing the good news. Their chosen one has now chosen them. The one job that could lure Williams away is no longer an issue. KU fans can exhale, smile and as Coach Williams likes to say “enjoy the journey.”