Former UNC basketball coach Matt Doherty used failure as springboard for new business path

CHARLOTTE — Matt Doherty likes to tell audiences that his mess — being forced to resign as UNC Chapel Hill men’s basketball coach two seasons after being named national coach of the year — is now his message.

Doherty, 61, is referring to his flameout in 2003, when his dream job turned into a nightmare and, finally, a former job. He took a year off and then returned to college coaching for stints at Florida Atlantic University and SMU. After six seasons at SMU, he was fired in 2012.

Since then, he’s dabbled in broadcasting, NBA scouting and work with the Atlantic 10 Conference, but his focus is business leadership, which, of course, is another form of coaching. Doherty grew up in New York, where he became a standout high school basketball player under future Davidson College coach Bob McKillop. He played for Dean Smith at UNC Chapel Hill from 1980 to 1984, sharing the court with Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins, among others.

Doherty, who lives in Mooresville with his wife, Kelly, is affiliated with the Vistage executive and peer coaching network, consults for entrepreneurs and appears regularly on WBT and WFNZ radio segments. In 2021, he published “Rebound: From Pain to Passion,” which included a foreword by former teammate Jordan.

On July 29, a monthly sponsored leadership show co-hosted by Doherty and Jane King will debut on Bloomberg TV. Doherty sat down with CBJ for a discussion about a life in basketball and why he believes he is more than qualified to dish out business advice.

Read the interview here.

(WATCH BELOW: Coach Steve Clifford talks Hornets injuries, upcoming season)

Comments on this article