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“This is misisonary work”: Tar Heels coach Davis puts faith above basketball

North Carolina basketball coach Hubert Davis was excited to have his team in last weekend’s Final Four, but sports are not the most important thing in his life.

Davis, who is in his first season as head coach of the Tar Heels, referenced his Christian faith during his introductory press conference last April and has mentioned it multiple times since. Davis played for the Tar Heels from 1988 to 1992 under legendary Coach Dean Smith and helped guide his team to a 1991 Final Four appearance.

The Tar Heels ended up losing to KU.

“One of the things that I do is I pray all of the time that Jesus would put good people in my kids’ life, like Coach Smith, Coach Guthridge and Coach Williams,” he said, referencing three former North Carolina coaches. “People that genuinely care for you, that there’s no hidden agenda, they’re genuinely on your side.”

On multiple occasions this year, Davis talked about the the positive impact he wants to have on players.

“As I’ve said before, I look at this job as missionary work,” Davis said at a press conference before his team’s upset of Baylor. “I’ve been given an opportunity to be the head coach of this program and be a part of this program for the last 10 years. Every day I get a front-row seat to be able to help out these kids, and it puts me in a place of humbleness and thankfulness and appreciation to be a part of their lives.

“I don’t feel any personal validation at all. This is 100 percent absolutely nothing about me. This is 100 percent giving back to each one of those players everything that Coach Smith and Coach Guthridge gave to me while I was at North Carolina and everything that Coach Williams gave to all the players the last 18 years he was head coach. It has nothing personal about me.”

During his introductory press conference last year, Davis said that his “faith and foundation are firmly in my relationship with Jesus. It just is.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice