Hubert Davis, the new men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina, was officially introduced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that went all the way to the left after he randomly interjected he was “proud” to have a white wife.
Davis, 50, will succeed newly retired head coach Roy Williams and spoke to a pool of reporters on Tuesday.
And all was well…until it wasn’t. Instead of focusing on the fact that Davis made history as the school’s first Black head coach, Davis’ uplifting of his wife overshadowed the moment.
“It is significant…it’s significant that I’m African American and I’m the head coach here. It’s significant,” he said when asked about the historic moment.
But the train started going off the track with his next statement:
“I know that in terms of Division 1 head coaches all around the country, only 26 percent of the head coaches are compromised by minorities, specifically African-Americans. I know that it is significant that I’m fourth African-American head coach in any sport in the history of North Carolina. I’m very proud to be African American. But I’m also very proud that my wife is white, and I’m very proud that my three beautiful, unbelievable kids are a combination of both of us,” Davis said.
Social media users quickly gathered Davis together over the strange statement. The Black delegation immediately wanted nothing to do with this part of the narrative. In our best Tyra Banks impression: “We were all rooting for you!”
Davis, a former first-round draft for the Knicks, spent six seasons in the NBA with different teams until he retired in 2004, later went on to be an ESPN analyst. Davis is also a former Tar Heel and played on the men’s team under legendary UNC Coach Dean Smith from 1988-1992. He helped the team win two ACC championships and competed in the 1991 Final Four.
Davis worked as an assistant coach under Williams for nine seasons, ESPN reports, and was picked from a large field of candidates and UNC alumni including UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson, Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse, Wes Miller, head coach at UNC-Greensboro, and King Rice.
“I wanted this job,” Davis said Tuesday. “I’ve always wanted to be a head coach. I just have always wanted to be a head coach — only here.”
“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,” Davis said after his hiring was announced on Monday. “I would not be here without Coach Dean Smith, Coach Bill Guthridge and Coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much — and I’m eager to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality. I also would not be here without Chancellor [Kevin] Guskiewicz and Bubba Cunningham. I appreciate their faith in me and I look forward to working closely with them.”