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Gary Williams

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Title: Gary Williams  
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Subject: Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year, 2002 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Infobox NCAA Basketball Conference Tournament/doc, Infobox NCAA Basketball Conference Tournament, List of coaches in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Collection: 1945 Births, American Basketball Coaches, American Eagles Men's Basketball Coaches, Basketball Players from New Jersey, Boston College Eagles Men's Basketball Coaches, College Men's Basketball Head Coaches in the United States, High School Basketball Coaches in the United States, Lafayette Leopards Men's Basketball Coaches, Living People, Maryland Terrapins Athletic Directors, Maryland Terrapins Men's Basketball Coaches, Maryland Terrapins Men's Basketball Players, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees, National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees, Ohio State Buckeyes Men's Basketball Coaches, People from Collingswood, New Jersey, Point Guards
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Gary Williams

Gary Williams
Williams courtside at the XFINITY Center (then called Comcast Center) in 2008
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Special Assistant to the Athletic Director
Team Maryland
Record 452–242 (.651)
Biographical details
Born (1945-03-04) March 4, 1945
Collingswood, New Jersey
Playing career
1964–1967 Maryland
Position(s) Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1969–1972 Woodrow Wilson HS
1972–1977 Lafayette (asst.)
1977–1978 Boston College (asst.)
1978–1982 American
1982–1986 Boston College
1986–1989 Ohio State
1989–2011 Maryland
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2011–present Maryland (asst. AD)
Head coaching record
Overall 668–380 (.637)
Accomplishments and honors
1 NCAA Division I Tournament Championship (2002)
2 Regional Championships - Final Four (2001, 2002)
1 ACC Tournament Championship (2004)
3 ACC Regular Season Championship (1995, 2002, 2010)
1 Big East Regular Season Championship (1983)
1 ECC Regular Season Championship (1981)
2 ACC Coach of the Year (2002, 2010)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2014
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2014

Gary Bruce Williams (born March 4, 1945) is an American university administrator and former college basketball coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, Boston College, and American University. In 2002, he led Maryland to win the NCAA Tournament Championship. Williams retired after the 2010–11 season, and is now a college basketball analyst for the Big Ten Network.


  • Biography 1
    • Playing career 1.1
    • Coaching career 1.2
      • Early coaching career 1.2.1
      • Maryland 1.2.2
      • Coaching profile 1.2.3
        • Recent Milestones Since 2005-06 Season
    • Personal life 1.3
  • Trademarks 2
    • Coaching style 2.1
    • Recruiting style 2.2
  • Coaching tree and NBA picks 3
  • Head coaching record 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Playing career

Williams played for Maryland as the starting point guard under coach Bud Millikan. He was a member of the 1966 Charlotte Invitational Tournament championship team and the 1965 Sugar Bowl Tournament championship team. He set a Maryland record for field goal percentage, going 8-for-8 from the field in an ACC game against South Carolina in 1966. (35 years later a Williams pupil, Lonny Baxter, would break that record, hitting all ten of his field goal attempts.) Williams was the Maryland team captain in 1967. He graduated in 1968 with a B.S. in Marketing.[1] While at the University of Maryland, Williams was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.[2]

Coaching career

Early coaching career

Prior to entering the college ranks, Williams was a successful high school basketball coach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey. He won a NJSIAA State championship as head varsity coach at Wilson High. With his chance to learn under Dr. Tom Davis, Williams left to become an assistant basketball coach at Lafayette College in 1972 and continued at Boston College in 1977 until he became a head coach. He was also the head soccer coach at Lafayette College during his assistant coaching job.[3]

Williams held three head coaching positions prior to Maryland. In 1978, Williams obtained his first head coaching position at American University. He led American to relative success, coaching them to several NIT berths. In 1982, Williams returned to Boston College, leading the Eagles to two NCAA tournament appearances, and one NIT appearance in his four-year tenure. In 1986, Williams took over at Ohio State of the Big Ten Conference. Under Williams, the Buckeyes advanced to one NCAA tournament appearance and two NIT appearances in three seasons.


The Maryland Terrapins, an original member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, announced Williams as its next head coach on June 13, 1989. The basketball program and the Maryland athletic program as a whole were still reeling from the aftershock of the 1986 death of Maryland basketball star Len Bias and struggles under coach Bob Wade, a former high school coach from Baltimore.

Williams coached the 1989–90 squad to a respectable 18–13 record and an NIT berth. However, in March 1990, the NCAA imposed harsh sanctions on the school for several major violations, mostly dating to the Wade era. Maryland was banned from postseason play in 1991 and 1992, and was kicked off live television for 1990-91. Additionally, Maryland docked itself several scholarships over two years.[4][5][6][7] With his recruiting efforts severely hamstrung, Williams found it very difficult to rebuild the program. However, with the help of Walt Williams, Maryland stayed competitive through a low point of the program's history.

After a surprise appearance in the 1994 Sweet 16, the Terrapins were a fixture in the national rankings until 2005. Maryland's teams during this era featured future NBA players such as Joe Smith, Steve Francis, Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, Lonny Baxter, Terence Morris and Chris Wilcox, and a cast of supportive role players, exemplified by Byron Mouton.

In 2001, Williams led Maryland to the first Final Four in school history, losing to Duke in the semifinals. On April 1, 2002, Williams led the Terrapins to their first NCAA National Championship, defeating Indiana 64–52. Williams was the first coach to win a national championship without a single McDonald's All American on the roster since its inception. He became the first coach to direct his alma mater to a national title since Norm Sloan accomplished the feat with North Carolina State in 1974.[8] The 2002 team also won a school-record 32 games, as well as the school's first outright ACC title in 22 years—only the third time since 1981 that a team from North Carolina hadn't won at least a share of the title. In March 2004, Maryland won the ACC Tournament Title, defeating Duke 95–87, led by Tournament MVP John Gilchrist.

In the 2004–2005 season, Maryland failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1993–1994 season, which was then the longest streak in the ACC.[9] This began a relatively mediocre stretch for Maryland, where they failed to make the tournament three out of the next five years.

In 2010, the Terrapins shared the regular-season conference title with Duke. The same season, Williams also earned his second ACC Coach of the Year award. 2011 saw the Terrapins struggle to a 19-14 mark, failing to make the post-season for the first time since 1993.

On May 5, 2011; Gary Williams announced his decision to retire from coaching basketball. He will remain with the Maryland athletic department as Assistant Athletic Director and Special Assistant to the Athletic Director.[10]

On January 26, 2012; Maryland honored Williams by renaming the playing surface at the XFINITY Center "Gary Willams Court."[11]

Coaching profile

In March 2010, Gary Williams was the 5th winningest active coach in the country and the 3rd winningest coach all-time in the ACC (behind only Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski). In his 31 years as a head coach, Williams has amassed an overall record of 654–368 (.640) and 447–240 (.651) at Maryland. He passed Lefty Driesell as the school's winningest coach in 2006.

Williams has an overall NCAA tournament record of 29–16 (.644), 25–13 (.658) at his alma mater. His 29 wins in the NCAA tournament places him seventh among active coaches in that category. Williams has coached Maryland to fourteen NCAA tournament appearances, including a streak of eleven consecutive appearances (1993-1994 season to 2003-2004 season), as well as four post season NIT appearances, allowing Maryland to own the longest current consecutive streak of postseason appearances in the ACC (Wake Forest, who had previously had the longest active streak, failed to qualify for the postseason in 2007.) Additionally, Williams has 71 wins over top-25 ranked opponents, 33 wins over top-10 ranked opponents (at least one every season from 96-97 to 09-10), 20 wins over top-5 opponents, three ACC regular season titles (co-champions in 1995 and 2010, and outright champions in 2002), and an ACC tournament title (2004). Williams' NCAA Tournament accomplishments include seven Sweet Sixteens, two Elite Eights, two Final Fours, and a national championship in 2002. Williams also leads active coaches with seven wins over top-ranked teams, the most recent coming against North Carolina on January 19, 2008. Since 1995, Coach Williams and Maryland have averaged 22.5 wins per season. Williams has led the Terrapins to at least 20 wins in 10 of the last 13 seasons and is tied with Rick Pitino for 6th among active coaches with 17 career 20-win seasons.

Williams had a discordant relationship with his former athletic director, Debbie Yow, who is now the athletic director at North Carolina State University.[12] In April 2011, Yow, after hiring Mark Gottfried to be the new head coach of the Wolfpack basketball team, accused the Maryland coach of attempting to "sabotage" N.C. State's search process by advising candidates that she was difficult to work with. Williams immediately denied the accusation.[13]

Recent Milestones Since 2005-06 Season

A home victory over Georgia Tech gave him third place outright.

On February 7, 2006, a 76–65 home victory over Virginia gave Williams his 349th win, allowing him to pass Lefty Driesell as the university's all-time winningest head coach. On February 3, 2007, a road victory over Wake Forest earned Williams his 150th ACC victory. He is the third coach in conference history to accomplish this feat; only Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski have won more conference games.

On February 6, 2008, a 70–65 road victory over Boston College gave Williams his 600th win. Gary Williams is one of only 8 active NCAA basketball head coaches with at least 600 wins.

On November 21, 2008, an 89–74 overtime home victory over Vermont gave Williams his 400th victory at his alma mater. In ACC history, Williams stands alongside Smith and Krzyzewski as the only coaches to amass this number of wins.

On February 21, 2009, Williams upset #3 (AP/ESPN Coaches Polls) University of North Carolina, 88-85 in OT. Then on March 12, Williams' Terps earned another victory over a Top-10 opponent, defeating #8 Wake Forest, the second-seeded team, 75-64 in the quarterfinals of the 2009 ACC Tournament, following a 74-69 victory over N.C. State in the opening round. The victory over the Demon Deacons was Williams' 17th ACC Tournament victory, tying Lefty Driesell for the most in school history.

Williams coached in his 1000th game on January 22, 2010, an 88-64 victory over NC State.

On March 9, 2010, he was named the ACC coach of the year.[14] On March 19, 2010, Williams coached Maryland (#4 rank in the Midwest Region) to a first-round victory, by a score of 89-77, over Houston (#13 rank in the Midwest Region) in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Two days later, Williams engineered a comeback in the final seconds of the second round game against Michigan State, only to lose to a buzzer beater shot by Korie Lucious. The final score was 85-83. A win would have put Williams in the Sweet Sixteen for the 9th time in his coaching career.

On March 25, 2014 Williams was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. In April of the same year, he was also voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, making him the first coach in history to be inducted into both institutions in the same year.[15][16][17]

Personal life

Williams grew up in Collingswood, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia. He was married to Diane McMillen from 1968 to 1990.[1] Williams has a daughter and three grandchildren. He remarried in April 2011.[18]

Williams was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated on May 12, 1990. According to a Maryland State Trooper, Williams was operating his vehicle in an unsafe manner, 10 miles over the posted speed limit and swerving in traffic. After being pulled over, Williams failed two sobriety tests, one in the field and another at the nearby police station. [19]


Coaching style

Williams exclusively runs the flex offense, with a strong emphasis on first getting the ball inside to the post, and once the opposing defense collapses, distributing the ball to the perimeter. On defense, he favors a highly physical, pressing and trapping style, using turnovers to key the offense through the fast break. His defensive philosophy is inspired by both his former coach Bud Millikan, who utilized an aggressive man-to-man scheme, and Tom Davis who helped teach Williams the more aggressive trapping schemes in addition to the fast break offense.[1]

Recruiting style

"Satisfaction in your job to me isn't just getting some list and saying, 'OK, that guy is rated top in the country. OK, we have to recruit him to be a good coaching staff' ... Why not be a coach instead of a used car salesman?"

— Williams, ESPN interview, 2001[20]

Williams has gained a reputation as a recruiter who almost exclusively goes after less-heralded players and develops them into Division I talents. An opposing coach, Dave Odom, once said in a newspaper interview that Williams "has made a living off of the player who is maybe one or two tools short of the complete package (say, height or leaping ability), but who competes hard and plays with a chip on his shoulder." Much of his success in the years since the university recovered from NCAA sanctions is from players that fit that mold.

In 2009, The Washington Post published an extensive expose on Williams' tenure from the 2002 title year to mid-season 2008–09.[21] The three-part feature analyzed the Williams' recruiting process, and noted how local prep basketball talent went elsewhere for college. It cited that Williams refused to associate closely with local AAU program directors and coaches, due to their questionable reputations. The Post asserted this reticence stemmed from the Rudy Gay recruiting episode.[22] The Baltimore Sun staff writers covering Maryland have challenged Williams' recruiting procedures, but also noted his personality reflects whom he recruits.[23]

Coaching tree and NBA picks

Many of Williams' former assistants have gone on to earn head coaching positions. These include:

Rick Barnes - an assistant to Williams at Ohio State. Has had successful tenures at Providence, Clemson, and Texas, whom he guided to the Final Four in 2003. He is currently the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.

Fran Fraschilla - was also on Williams' Ohio State staff. Had a successful run at Manhattan. He also was the head coach at St. John's and New Mexico. He now serves as an ESPN college basketball analyst.

Fran Dunphy - served as an assistant to Williams at American. During a seventeen-year tenure at Penn, he won 310 games (a school record) and 10 Ivy League titles. Successor to John Chaney at Temple.

Jimmy Patsos - served on Williams' staff at Maryland from 1991 to 2004, now the head coach at Siena.

George Washington.

Dave Dickerson - served on Williams' staff at Maryland from 1996 to 2005; later named head coach at Tulane. Now an assistant at Ohio State under Thad Matta.

Chuck Driesell - son of famed coach Lefty Driesell, served on Williams' staff, now the head coach at The Citadel.

Billy Hahn - served on Williams' staff from 1989 to 2001; later named head coach at La Salle. Now an assistant at West Virginia under Bob Huggins.

28 of Williams' players have been drafted by the NBA. This includes four lottery picks since 1992. Among the more prominent names:

In addition, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, who played for Williams in the late 1990s, was signed by the Indiana Pacers in the summer of 2005. More recently, Chris McCray, who was academically ineligible to play basketball the majority of his senior year at Maryland, was not picked in the NBA draft, but signed a free agent contract with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks in September 2006, and D. J. Strawberry, son of former major leaguer Darryl Strawberry was signed by the Phoenix Suns after being selected 59th in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Strawberry now plays for the Reno Bighorns.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
American Eagles (East Coast Conference) (1978–1982)
1978–79 American 14–13 7–4 4th
1979–80 American 13–14 5–6 4th
1980–81 American 24–6 11–0 1st NIT First Round
1981–82 American 21–9 8–3 3rd NIT First Round
American: 72–42 (.632) 31–13 (.705)
Boston College Eagles (Big East Conference) (1982–1986)
1982–83 Boston College 25–7 12–4 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1983–84 Boston College 18–12 8–8 4th NIT Second Round
1984–85 Boston College 20–11 7–9 6th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1985–86 Boston College 13–15 4–12 7th
Boston College: 76–45 (.628) 31–33 (.484)
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1986–1989)
1986–87 Ohio State 20–13 9–9 6th NCAA Second Round
1987–88 Ohio State 20–13 9–9 6th NIT Runner-up
1988–89 Ohio State 19–15 6–12 8th NIT Quarterfinal
Ohio State: 59–41 (.590) 24–30 (.444)
Maryland Terrapins (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1989–2011)
1989–90 Maryland 19–14 6–8 T–5th NIT Second Round
1990–91 Maryland 16–12 5–9 T–7th
1991–92 Maryland 14–15 5–11 8th
1992–93 Maryland 12–16 2–14 8th
1993–94 Maryland 18–12 8–8 T–4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1994–95 Maryland 26–8 12–4 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1995–96 Maryland 17–13 8–8 T–4th NCAA First Round
1996–97 Maryland 21–11 9–7 T–4th NCAA First Round
1997–98 Maryland 21–11 10–6 3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1998–99 Maryland 28–6 13–3 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1999–00 Maryland 25–10 11–5 2nd NCAA Second Round
2000–01 Maryland 25–11 10–6 3rd NCAA Final Four
2001–02 Maryland 32–4 15–1 1st NCAA Champions
2002–03 Maryland 21–10 11–5 T–2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2003–04 Maryland 20–12 7–9 T–6th NCAA Second Round
2004–05 Maryland 19–13 7–9 T–6th NIT Semifinal
2005–06 Maryland 19–13 8–8 6th NIT First Round
2006–07 Maryland 25–9 10–6 T–3rd NCAA Second Round
2007–08 Maryland 19–15 8–8 T–5th NIT Second Round
2008–09 Maryland 21–14 7–9 T–7th NCAA Second Round
2009–10 Maryland 24–9 13–3 T–1st NCAA Second Round
2010–11 Maryland 19–14 7–9 T–7th
Maryland: 461–252 (.647) 192–156 (.552)
Total: 668–380 (.637)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also


  1. ^ a b c Williams, Gary, and David A. Vise. Sweet Redemption: How Gary Williams and Maryland Beat Death and Despair to Win the NCAA Basketball Championship. [United States]: Sports Pub. L.L.C., 2002. Print.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Selig, Mark (April 2, 2009). "With his back against the wall". The Diamondback. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  4. ^ 1990 Maryland infraction report
  5. ^ NCAA Spanks Maryland, The Bryan Times, March 6, 1990.
  6. ^ Maryland assistant admits violation, Gainesville Sun, October 20, 1989.
  7. ^ NCAA accuses Maryland basketball of 19 violations, Star-News, October 19, 1989.
  8. ^ "Final Four Notebook: Gym rat or street urchin? Dixon chose the former".  
  9. ^ Yanda, Steve; Eric Prisbell (February 12, 2009). "A Shell of Its Former Self". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  10. ^ Gary Williams Announces Retirement, accessed May 5, 2011
  11. ^ Maryland honors retired coach with 'Gary Williams Court', USA Today, January 25, 2012
  12. ^ "Debbie Yow accuses Gary Williams". Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  13. ^ Wiseman, Steve (6 April 2011). "Gottfried will be leader of the Pack".  
  14. ^ "ACC COACH OF THE YEAR". 9 March 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  15. ^ Prewitt, Alex (25 March 2014). "Former Terps coach Gary Williams elected to National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Winderman, Ira (April 7, 2014). "'"It's official: Mourning, Richmond to enter Hall; Zo: 'I'm humbled. South Florida Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Gary Williams Makes Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame". CBS Baltimore. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Stevens, Patrick. "Gary Williams retires". The Washington Times. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Gary Williams drunken driving". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 1990. 
  20. ^ Andy Katz, Frankly speaking, Williams won't bow to Duke -- yet at the Wayback Machine (archived February 10, 2003), ESPN, October 25, 2001, retrieved June 18, 2010.
  21. ^ Yanda, Steve; Prisbell, Eric (February 12, 2009). "Maryland Has Become a Shell of Its Former Self". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  22. ^ It's A Whole New Ballgame, and Maryland's Williams Isn't Playing, The Washington Post, February 12, 2009.
  23. ^,0,5806601.column

External links

  • Official website
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