Roy Williams greeted a horde of well-wishers in the wee hours Tuesday morning at his hotel suite in St. Louis.
Among the throng were Bob Frederick and his wife, Margey.
"From a personal and family standpoint," Frederick said Tuesday evening after returning to Lawrence, "I was really happy that we could share in the happiness with his family."
Frederick, now an assistant professor in Kansas University's School of Education, was KU's athletic director in the summer of 1988 when he hired an obscure assistant coach from North Carolina to take over the KU men's basketball program after Larry Brown left for the San Antonio Spurs.
In 15 years at Kansas, Williams took the Jayhawks to four NCAA Final Fours, but he didn't win a national championship until his fifth trip when, in his second year at North Carolina, he guided the Tar Heels to a 75-70 victory Monday over Illinois in the Edward Jones Dome.
"I'm happy, because this kind of gets the quote monkey unquote off his back," Frederick said. "And I'm glad that in all of his excitement he didn't forget to mention his 15 years at Kansas."
Frederick and Margey, who is director of visitor services at KU, weren't the only members of the family at the championship game. Their oldest sons, Brian and Brad, also were in the crowd.
"We weren't sitting in the same section they were," Frederick said, "but I'm sure they were celebrating since they're both North Carolina grads."
Brad Frederick, now an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, and Williams' son Scott were walk-on basketball players for the Tar Heels from 1995-1999. The two also were teammates on the 1995 Lawrence High basketball team that won the Class 6A state championship.