Roy Williams began his vacation Saturday in South Carolina, but it's a working vacation. Amid the sun and sand, he has to decide whether to become head men's basketball coach at North Carolina.
Even if the school's offer is informal, it still counts. If Williams wants the job, it's his.
Although Williams, 49, fits the Tar Heels profile, he wouldn't be my first choice. I'd go with George Karl, the former North Carolina point guard who coaches the Milwaukee Bucks.
Alas, Karl does not fit. He is unpredictable, candid and a heck of a good time. Sometimes he wears a beard and sometimes he does not wear a tie. Plus, his hair is wrong.
He is beer and a dog, not wine and cheese. But even if you insist on a dress code, wouldn't you love to be in the gym the first time Karl tangled with Duke and Mike Krzyzewski?
Williams is smoother. He is good with players, faculty, students, alumni, mommas, Xs and Os. If you're looking for somebody whose style most closely resembles that of Dean Smith, the man who preceded Bill Guthridge, look no further.
Like Smith, Williams almost always puts his team in position to win the big one. Like Smith, he rarely does.
Be careful how you broach the subject, though. Williams might look mild-mannered, but he is ferocious, always has been. Remember the encounter with Krzyzewski last season during the NCAA tournament?
Williams and Krzyzewski stood face to face, each competitive and angry and not even considering backing down, and if they had been standing in a steel cage, there might have been a steel cage match.
If you're not Krzyzewski and you want to make Williams mad, don't cheer loud enough for his team. He chastised Kansas fans for that last season, his 12th as head coach at the school.
If you really want to make Williams mad, talk about the big one that got away. When fans or the media would say Smith could not win the big game, Williams would turn into Eddie Fogler, the South Carolina head coach and former Smith assistant, and go New York City-ballistic.
North Carolina is one of the few elite programs that has stayed elite, and the job Williams has been offered is one of the most challenging in sports. If you're not strong, you can't do it. The next coach will be compared to Smith, not Guthridge, and will compete not just against the present, but against the past.
Remember UCLA after John Wooden left? The school ran his successors off so quickly they might as well have been paid by the hour, and it wasn't long before UCLA wasn't special anymore.
The coach at North Carolina has to stand up to Smith and Krzyzewski, alumni and boosters, Maryland, Wake Forest and a rising program at Virginia.
Every win will be magnified. YES, WE'RE GREAT AGAIN! So will every loss. BRING BACK BILL! The head coach will be as scrutinized and as critiqued as a broadcaster on "Monday Night Football."
The school needs a coach who has dealt with some of this before, and Williams is such a coach. Kansas plays a little ball, too. At least once, Williams had the best team in the country, and everybody knew it. The pressure was enormous. So he's accustomed to it.