Monday, January 30th, 2012

Former Maryland coach opposes naming the court after Gary Williams

Published on January 26, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

Gary Williams just retired from Maryland and now he has his name of the home court of the Maryland Terrapins. Williams is the all time winningest coach in Maryland basketball history and led them to their only championship in school history. Williams had his name put on the court Wednesday night when Duke cam to town. So you would think no one would have a problem with this Right? Wrong.

Lefty Driesell is second in school history in wins but he doesn’t think Williams name should be on the court. Driesell, who is now 80 years old sent an email to Chancellor Williams Kirwan expressing his thoughts. The coach said he was bitter that he his name is not on the court he just thinks no coach should have their name on the court.

“It’s not fair to my players that they would put Gary Williams’ name on the court,” Driesell said Tuesday. “It’s a disservice to players such as Tom McMillen, John Lucas, Len Elmore, Brad Davis, Greg Manning, Adrian Branch and Steve Sheppard.”

I don’t agree with Driesell’s comments do I think he is a little bitter that his name isn’t on the court yes I do. Problem with putting players name on the court is that there are just too many. This would likely cause too many problems with players and so on. In Maryland’s case there is just too many great players. You can’t put them all on the court. Coaches will just be recognized more than players because coaches might be there 20 plus years while players at max will be there 4 years and in most cases less than that.

Williams came to Maryland in 1989 and was the head coach at Maryland for 22 years. During that time he had a record of 461-252 . As I mentioned he won the 2002 national championship. During his time and Maryland the Terps made 14 NCAA tournaments – including 11 consecutive from 1994-2004. They also made 2 final fours and 7 sweet 16’s.

Williams was one of the best competitors out there. He gave every ounce to the Maryland program. He would sweat like crazy on the sidelines.

“He took the program and made it what it is today,” said Juan Dixon, the starting guard for that title team. “Coach Williams was able to do something special in 2002. It is a well-deserved honor for a great person and a great guy. I love him to death and I’m very happy for him.”

Now every time away schools come to Maryland the words “Gary Williams Court” will appear near the visiting-team bench .

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