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Roy Williams: Health “pretty doggone good,” retirement not imminent

Roy Williams says he's never felt better

University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams talks about reports of his health and tells reporters he's never felt better.
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University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams talks about reports of his health and tells reporters he's never felt better.

Roy Williams' future is one of main the storylines – at least from the perspective of the national media – here at the Final Four. There are questions here about whether Williams might retire soon, especially if North Carolina wins the national championship on Monday night.

The short answer, according to Williams: Not a chance.

“What happens the next five days is going to have nothing to do with what I do with the rest of my life,” Williams, in his 13th season as the Tar Heels' head coach, said on Thursday when asked about his future. “If this was the first time and only time I would ever make the Final Four, the only time I was ever going to have a chance to win a national championship, it might have a difference.

“But I've been very fortunate to coach a few more, and I hope to coach some more.”

Williams' reaction to a Washington Post feature story about the burden of an NCAA investigation and various health problems made national headlines earlier this week. Williams said on Thursday that he “never read the article (and) never will read the article.” He was bothered by how his friends, some of whom told Williams they'd been inaccurately represented in the article, reacted to the story.

“Those kind of things do bother me,” Williams said. “I have thin skin. But especially thin skin when it hurts people that I truly, truly care about. Their reaction to me really bothered me. The fact is of my health, I'm pretty doggone good, you know.”

Williams, 65, has been plagued by a variety of health problems in recent years. He went through a cancer scare almost four years ago when a tumor on his kidney turned out to be benign. Last summer he went through two knee surgeries.

Earlier this season, a vertigo attack forced him to miss most of the second half of a victory at Boston College. Williams has acknowledged that he doesn't move as well he has and he's not walking as much, because his knees hurt.

“My health, I've got a head cold right now, a sinus infection, I got two bum knees, and never felt better in my life than I feel right now,” Williams said.

And so no, he said, his retirement is not imminent. Earlier this week, during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Williams suggested he could coach another 10 years.

“When I quit,” Williams said on Thursday, “it will not be because of anything that happens this weekend.”

VIDEO: University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams says he doesn't want to leave UNC or retire amid the unresolved NCAA case

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