UNC Announces Contract Extension for Roy Williams

Three-time national champion and Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Roy Williams has signed an eight-year contract extension with the University of North Carolina, Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham announced today.

UNC has signed or is announcing:
• contracts and/or contract extensions with 11 head coaches, including Williams’ extension, which runs through 2027-28;
• personal service contracts for four head coaches with Nike;
• a 10-year extension for Carolina Athletics with Nike;
• and a 12-year extension for the department with Learfield Communications.

All of the contracts, and a licensing agreement and labor standards agreements with Nike, are available on GoHeels.com.

Williams led Carolina to NCAA titles in 2005, 2009 and 2017. In 16 seasons as head coach at his alma mater, Williams is 432-128. He’s led UNC to five Final Fours, won the ACC regular-season title eight times and finished in the top 10 in the final Associated Press poll 10 times, including each of the last three seasons. The Tar Heels’ home court at the Dean E. Smith Center was recently named Roy Williams Court after the UNC alumnus.

“I’m grateful and humbled in the University’s continued faith in my leadership of the basketball program,” says Williams. “When I coached at Kansas my contracts with Nike and our media partner were private, and UNC respected and honored that for 15 years. However, times have changed and understanding the environment that college basketball faces now, Chancellor Folt, Bubba (Cunningham) and I agreed the correct and proper thing would be to disclose those terms.”

Williams is one of five UNC head coaches who have or will have personal service contracts with Nike. Williams, Anson Dorrance (women’s soccer), Mike Fox (baseball) and Sylvia Hatchell (women’s basketball) have signed contracts with Nike. Mack Brown (football) will also sign a personal service contract with Nike.

The University’s contracts with Brown, Fox, Hatchell and Williams also include compensation that originated from Learfield for work with Carolina’s multi-media rightsholder. The Nike contracts and compensation from Learfield are approved by Chancellor Folt and Cunningham.  

In addition to signing a contract extension with Williams, Cunningham is announcing contract extensions for Dorrance, Fox, Jenny Levy (women’s lacrosse), Brian Kalbas (women’s tennis), Sam Paul (men’s tennis) and Carlos Somoano (men’s soccer), who each re-signed through 2023; and Coleman Scott (wrestling), re-signed through 2021.

Also, Joe Breschi (men’s lacrosse), Donna Papa (softball) and Joe Sagula (volleyball) signed multi-year contracts for the first time; each signed five-year contracts through 2023.

The 11 coaches who signed new contracts or extensions, which were also approved by the Board of Trustees, have a combined 239 years of experience as head coaches at Carolina.

“It’s a pretty remarkable day when you can announce contracts and extensions for 11 head coaches, particularly when you have as accomplished a group as we are fortunate to work with here at Carolina,” says Cunningham. “These 11 coaches include seven who have won 32 national championships, and are dedicated to winning in the classroom and our community.

“We’re also pleased to highlight today the financial impact our partnerships with Nike and Learfield have on our ability to provide opportunities for nearly 800 student-athletes and the positive impact those relationships have on our campus as a whole.”

Carolina’s 10-year contract calls for Nike to remain the Tar Heels’ exclusive supplier of athletic footwear and apparel through June 2028. It is the third extension of a partnership that began in 1993.

As part of the contract, a minimum of $600,000  per year — at least $6 million over the life of the contract — is guaranteed for licensing, which the University  directs for need- and merit-based scholarships. That’s more than doubling the licensing guarantee of the previous contract with Nike. In addition, the University will receive $200,000 per year in retail product for non-athletic department use, and Nike will hire four student interns each year.

“We’re pleased to continue this long-standing partnership with Nike, which goes well beyond the direct benefits it provides to nearly 800 student-athletes each year,” says Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “This extension makes even more funds and opportunities available to benefit our students in areas ranging from scholarships to internships and helps Carolina students across our campus.”

In an accompanying “Agreement Regarding Labor Standards and Corporate Social Responsibility,” the University and Nike also have again affirmed their commitment to fair labor practices.

Nike also has increased the amount of product – primarily uniforms, shoes and practice gear – it provides to Carolina Athletics. Additional funds will be used to support women’s sports initiatives, contracts and travel for international competition. All told, the value of the Nike contract exceeds $10 million per year.

“This contract isn’t just about supplying uniforms and equipment, but also about supporting student scholarships, internships and opportunities for the University of North Carolina,” says Cunningham. “We are proud to extend our relationship with Nike and pleased that this agreement will help so many students.”

Carolina also extended its multi-media rights partnership with Learfield through June 2029. The Jefferson City, Mo.-based company has managed UNC’s radio broadcasts, coaches’ shows, digital media productions and venue signage since 1999. The 12-year contract has an average guaranteed value of $12.6 million per year.

“Our partnership with Learfield is an important part of our organizational culture, and we are excited about the continued ideas and opportunities this agreement will bring to our department and to the University,” says Cunningham.

The contract includes additional Learfield resource investments in student-athlete development, career placement programs, and digital content development and market integration. It includes four annual paid student internships for Carolina students, a Career Tar Heel program and funding to help expand creative resources within the athletic department


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