University of Kansas

Former Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams has tumor removed

North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams slapped hands with all of his players after they had warmed-up during the University of North Carolina and Ohio University NCAA Regional semi-final basketball game on Friday, Mar 23, 2012, in St. Louis, Missouri at the Edwards Jones Dome. {Photo by SHANE KEYSER | Kansas City Star).
North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams slapped hands with all of his players after they had warmed-up during the University of North Carolina and Ohio University NCAA Regional semi-final basketball game on Friday, Mar 23, 2012, in St. Louis, Missouri at the Edwards Jones Dome. {Photo by SHANE KEYSER | Kansas City Star). SHANE KEYSER/Kansas City Star

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams underwent surgery on Wednesday morning to remove a tumor from his right kidney, according to the university.

Williams coached the Kansas Jayhawks from 1988 until 2003, taking KU to four Final Fours.

A source close to the situation told The News & Observer that it was not yet known whether the tumor was cancerous. Williams might have to undergo another surgery next month, but he is not expected to miss any time once the regular season begins in mid-November.

Dr. Eric Wallen, a professor of urology at UNC, performed Williams’ surgery at UNC Hospitals.

“The surgery went well and according to plan,” Dr. Wallen said. “Coach Williams did great. I fully expect him to coach this season and for years to come. He could miss some practice time if we perform another procedure sometime in October, but he would be able to resume his coaching duties prior to the start of the regular season.”

Williams, 62, should be able to coach when the Tar Heels begin practice on Oct. 12, Wallen said. Williams is preparing to enter his 10th season as UNC’s head coach.

Doctors discovered the tumor during a physical examination earlier this month, according to a statement the university released.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with coach Williams and his family for a full recovery,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “Obviously his health and prognosis are my greatest concerns. He’s in great hands with the medical staff at UNC Hospitals.

“The basketball team is also in outstanding hands with [assistant coaches] Steve Robinson, CB McGrath, Hubert Davis and Joe Holladay.”

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