Ford Wants To Keep Coaching at UNC

Monday, July 3rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina assistant Phil Ford, whose future with the Tar Heels is unclear after head coach Bill Guthridge retired, would like to stay at UNC but knows it's out of his hands.

The former All-American and career scoring leader at UNC has been an assistant coach at the school since 1988, first to Dean Smith and then to Guthridge.

``I think everybody would want to (stay),'' Ford said Saturday while attending the Pepsi 400 race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

``But that's not something that's in my control. I'll just have to see what happens, like everybody else.''

Guthridge retired Friday after three seasons.

Ford was vacationing in Florida on Thursday when Guthridge told him by telephone that he was leaving.

``I didn't see it coming,'' Ford said. ``You'd have to talk to him about it, but, boy, he had a fantastic career. If anybody deserves to retire, it's Coach Guthridge. He's given a lot to our basketball team and to the University of North Carolina.''

Ford has been mentioned in recent years as one of several coaches that could become Guthridge's successor.

Ford pleaded guilty in November to a drunken driving charge in Durham following his second arrest for drinking and driving since 1997. He completed a 28-day alcohol-abuse recovery program.