Roy Williams passes Dean Smith on all-time wins list while Bob Huggins ties Adolph Rupp

Roy Williams reached a significant milestone during a difficult season in Chapel Hill. (Nell Redmond-USA Today Sports)

It’s been a difficult season in Chapel Hill.

But after five unsuccessful attempts, Roy Williams logged his 880th career victory as North Carolina posted a 94-71 win over Miami on Saturday, passing his mentor and NCAA coaching legend Dean Smith in the process. The win broke a five-game losing streak for the 9-10 Tar Heels.

Smith retired from North Carolina in 1997 as the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history with 879 wins. That number has since been surpassed by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (1,148), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (959), Indiana and Texas Tech’s Bob Knight (902) and now Williams among men’s coaches.

Williams’ legacy next to Smith’s

Williams reached the milestone in nine fewer games than Smith took to notch his tally and continues to entrench his legacy alongside that of the basketball icon. Williams has a 880-244 career record and has coached the Tar Heels to three national championships since returning to Chapel Hill from Kansas in 2003.

Smith tallied a 879-254 record and led UNC to two national championships and 11 trips to the Final Four. He retired as one of the great teachers and innovators in the history of the game. Williams’ teams still thrive using the secondary fast break offense that Smith developed decades ago.

Bob Huggins notches milestone of his own

Williams wasn’t the only coach to log a career milestone on Saturday.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins recorded his 876th career win as his Mountaineers posted a 74-51 win over Missouri. The win ties him with Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp for seventh on the all-time wins list.

Huggins got his start coaching Akron in 1984 before developing Cincinnati into a national program with regular appearances in the NCAA tournament in the 1990s and early 2000s, including a 1992 Final Four bid.

He took over at West Virginia in 2007 and has coached the Mountaineers to nine NCAA tournament appearances in 13 seasons, including a trip to the 2010 Final Four.

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