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Corrections and clarifications: This story has been updated to correct the age of UNC Greensboro coach Wes Miller. He is 38.
Roy Williams announced his retirement on Thursday ahead of the men's Final Four. The 70-year-old Hall of Famer leaves college basketball as the sport's third-winningest coach from storied tenures at North Carolina and Kansas that included three national championships and nine Final Fours in his 33 seasons on the sideline.
His departure from the Tar Heels leaves an opening for one of the most coveted coaching jobs in all of college sports. .
Who is equipped to fill Williams' shoes and add to the legacy of Dean Smith in Chapel Hill? USA TODAY Sports examines six of the top candidates for the job:
The UNC Greensboro coach is an up-and-coming name in the sport, and he's only 38 years old. That's one year older than Williams was when he started at Kansas. Miller is a Williams disciple, having played for the Tar Heels from 2004-07. He's coached at UNC Greensboro since 2011 and has guided the Spartans to five postseason appearances, including a No. 13 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament.
Another former player, Davis might be the front-runner given he was on UNC's staff as Williams' assistant since 2012 following an NBA and broadcast career. Davis has been out on the recruiting trails and knows the ins and outs of the program, despite not having any head coaching experience. It's worth noting, Williams also didn't have any when he took the Kansas job.
Williams' longtime assistant who was with him through his UNC tenure, Robinson would be more of a short-term hire if he landed the job because he's 63. He's undoubtedly qualified. He has head coaching experience at Tulsa (1995-97) and Florida State (1997-2002), although he had a below .500 record at FSU in five seasons.
A former UNC player, Stackhouse is trying to right the ship at Vanderbilt, where he's only gone 20-37 in two seasons. But Stackhouse has coaching chops, having been named the NBA G League Coach of he Year in 2017. Given how well it worked out for Michigan in hiring Juwan Howard from the NBA, this potential move isn't that far-fetched.
Bennett has a national championship at Virginia (2019) where he figured out how to beat UNC and Duke with less talent. He'd get a recruiting boost at Carolina where the Tar Heels would be positioned to be national title contenders every season. Getting him to leave Charlottesville, though, might be a tall ask.
Oats took Alabama to the Sweet 16 and made the Crimson Tide champions of the SEC in just two seasons, all without an extensive recruiting record in the South. Needless to say he's an up-and-comer in the sport who can continue to blossom at a football school – or he could take over the pressurized job at UNC.
Also worth noting:
Gonzaga coach Mark Few is going for an undefeated season and national championship with the 'Zags here at the Final Four. Few has denied big-time offers from prestigious programs before, but would UNC be the one job to make him leave Spokane? It's unlikely, but it'd be Few's job if he wanted it. Baylor coach Scott Drew also has his team in the Final Four and is a name that could be considered based on his program-building success with the Bears. Would national titles or national-runner up finishes affect these coaches' decisions if offers are made?
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UNC basketball: Which coach replaces Roy Williams at North Carolina?