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Posted under: News

'I'm Also Very Proud That My Wife Is White': Folks Confused After UNC's First Black Head Coach Makes Odd Remark During Presser

The Twitterverse is side-eying Hubert Davis after his introductory press conference.

The University of North Carolina (UNC) officially introduced new basketball team head coach Hubert Davis on Tuesday, holding a press conference and allowing the longtime assistant to give fans more information about himself. 

Davis is UNC's first Black basketball head coach since the school began playing the sport in 1910 according to ESPN.

While many have hailed the school for choosing a Black head coach to represent one of the most iconic teams in college basketball, some online took issue with things Davis said during his introductory press conference. 

A reporter asked Davis whether it was significant that he would become one of the few Black coaches of any sport at the school or more generally in college basketball. He spoke about the significance of his hiring but also mentioned the race of his wife Leslie and three children - Elijah, Bobbie Grace and Micah. 

"It's significant that I'm African-American and I'm the head coach here. It's significant. I know that in terms of Division I head coaches all around the country only 26% of the head coaches for Division I men's basketball are composed of minorities, specifically African-Americans," he said.

"I know that it is significant that I'm the fourth African-American head coach in any sport in the history of the University of North Carolina. I'm very proud to be African-American. But I'm also very proud that my wife is white, and I'm very proud that my three beautiful, unbelievable kids are a combination of both of us,” he added. 

The comment drew more than a few confused responses, with many questioning why it was necessary for him to reference the race of his wife at all. 

Thousands of people took the reference to his wife as a way of signaling to more conservative supporters of the team that he was not a firebrand. 

Davis played for the school's team from 1988 to 1992 before spending 12 years in the NBA for various teams and serving as an assistant for the school's team since 2012. He'll be replacing Roy Williams, who retired from the job after winning three national championships and more than 900 games in his 33 years coaching, 18 of which were spent at UNC, according to ESPN.

When his hiring was first announced, he spoke about how much the school meant to him, ABC11 reported.

"I love this university. I played here, I earned my degree here, I fell in love with my wife here, I got married here, I moved here after I retired from the NBA and I have raised my family here," Davis said in a statement.

"I am proud to lead this team, and I can't wait for all that comes next," he added. 

The 50-year-old was hailed as a great coach and good human being by those who played with him as well as his former co-workers at ESPN, where he worked as an analyst before joining the coaching ranks. 

Davis choked up during various points of his introductory press conference, acknowledging the big shoes he has to fill.

“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program. I would not be here without Coach Dean Smith, Coach Bill Guthridge and Coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much – and I’m eager to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality,” he said

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