Dr. Wallen says Williams, 62, should be able to coach when the Tar Heels begin practice for the 2012-13 season on Saturday, October 13th. Williams may have a second surgery to remove a tumor from his left kidney at a later date and could be sidelined for a few practices.
"The surgery went well and according to plan," said Dr. Wallen. "Coach Williams did great. I fully expect him to coach this season and for years to come. He could miss some practice time if we perform another procedure sometime in October, but he would be able to resume his coaching duties prior to the start of the regular season."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Williams and his family for a full recovery," says UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. "Obviously his health and prognosis are my greatest concerns. He's in great hands with the medical staff at UNC Hospitals. The basketball team is also in outstanding hands with Steve Robinson, CB McGrath, Hubert Davis and Joe Holladay. As Coach Williams frequently says, he has the best staff in the country and I know they will do an excellent job as CoachWilliams recuperates. We will be ready for his return as soon as he is able to do so, but I have stressed to him that he returns only when he has been given the medical approval and he is ready to do that. Hopefully that will be soon and for a long, long time to come."
Williams is entering his 10th season as the head coach of the Tar Heels and 25th as a college head coach. He is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, has led Carolina to national championships in 2005 and 2009, another Final Four in 2008, Elite Eights in 2007, 2011 and 2012, five NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds, seven Associated Press Top 10 final rankings, six ACC regular-season titles, two ACC Tournament crowns, five 30-win seasons and developed 13 first-round NBA Draft picks.
ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and Fox Sports named him the Coach of the Decade for 2000-2009. Williams led Kansas and Carolina to 33 NCAA Tournament wins in the 2000s, eight more than any other coach.
The Asheville native has directed teams at Kansas and UNC to a record of 675-169. His winning percentage of .800 is the fourth highest in the history of college basketball and No. 1 among active coaches. He is one of 13 coaches to win multiple national championships, joining an illustrious list that includes only two other ACC coaches – Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.
Carolina is 257-68 (.791) in his nine seasons. He has set UNC coaching records for most wins for one year (36 in 2007-08), two years (70 in 2008-09), three years (101 from 2007-09), four years (124 from 2006-09), five years (157 from 2005-09), six years (176 from 2004-09), seven years (206 from 2005-12) and is tied for the most in any eight-year span (225, tied with 1991-98).
At Carolina, Williams has coached two National Players of the Year (Sean May in 2005, Tyler Hansbrough in 2008), three Bob Cousy Award winners presented to the best point guard in the country (Raymond Felton in 2005, Ty Lawson in 2009, Kendall Marshall in 2012), three ACC Players of the Year (Hansbrough in 2008, Lawson in 2009, Tyler Zeller in 2012), two ACC Athletes of the Year (May in 2005, Hansbrough in 2008), four ACC Rookies of the Year (Marvin Williams in 2005,Hansbrough in 2006, Brandan Wright in 2007, Harrison Barnes in 2011), two Final Four MOPs (May in 2005, Wayne Ellington in 2009) and 16 NBA Draft picks.
"Patti and I send all best wishes to Coach Williams and his family," says Chancellor Holden Thorp. "All of us at Carolina are thinking about him, hoping he recovers quickly and looking forward to having him back with us soon."