Maryland’s Gary Williams Retires
As a Maryland alumni and a huge Terps fan, I’m in complete shock.
Today, Gary Williams stepped down as the Maryland Basketball Head Coach.
Williams coached 22 seasons and won 461 games with the Terps including the 2002 National Championship. Under Williams, Maryland reached 14 NCAA tournaments in the past 18 seasons and advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times. His career coaching record is 668-380 in 33 seasons (he also was American University, Boston College and Ohio State).
“It’s the right time,” Williams said in a news release. “My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing. I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here. I couldn’t have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great university. Together, we did something very special here.”
I was a freshman at the University of Maryland when Gary arrived at the College Park campus. Over the years, I had many dealings with him. I interviewed him numerous times as a student on the campus radio station. I also covered the Terps while working at the CBS-TV affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia.
In fact, Williams was a guest on “Sound-off with Sinkoff” several times over the past 3 years.
Quite simply, Williams saved the Maryland basketball program. He arrived just 3 years after Len Bias’ death. The Terps program was in complete disarray after Bias died. Bob Wade was hired as the Maryland coach immediately after Bias’ death and only lasted three years.
In 1989, Gary took over for Wade and within a year, the Terps were placed on NCAA probation for violations committed during Wade’s short tenure. In fact, Maryland wasn’t even allowed to play in the NCAA Tournament for 2 years and play on live television for one year.
But Gary stuck it out and went onto become one of the best college basketball coaches in the country.
Williams will become an assistant athletic director and special assistant to Athletic Director Kevin Anderson.