Kevinís Corner: Maryland Pride is Strong!

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Hello Terp Fans!

I have the best job in intercollegiate athletics and I am very proud to be the Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland.  This past weekend, I had the privilege to represent Maryland athletics in a pair of special presentations at home and on the road.

Last Saturday, the University of Maryland paid homage to an American hero and athletic pioneer Wilmeth Sidat-Singh.  A two-sport standout at Syracuse in the late 1930s, Sidat-Singh was the Orangemen’s starting quarterback heading into an October contest against the Terps in 1937.

However, because he was African American, the University of Maryland did not allow Sidat-Singh to take the field that day with his Syracuse teammates.  Sidat-Singh was forced to sit on the bench and watch his team lose. 

After college, Sidat-Singh, a native of Washington, D.C., shelved a promising professional basketball career to enlist in the U.S. Army in the months following Pearl Harbor.  A member of the first graduating class of what later took the name of the Tuskegee Airmen, Sidat-Singh lost his life when his plane went down in Lake Huron on a training flight in May of 1943.

As the Terps faced Syracuse for the first time as members of the same conference, the University of Maryland was proud to welcome back Sidat-Singh’s family for a special on-field presentation.

Representing the Sidat-Singh family were Cassie Jensen, Mary Ethel Cobb, Norma James, Walter Combs and Lyn Henley. Also joining me on the sideline was Syracuse Athletic Director Dr. Daryl Gross and Maryland football legend and pioneer Darryl Hill. We presented the family an official Wounded Warrior jersey in recognition of Sidat-Singh. It was a very special moment for everyone at Byrd Stadium.

….Last Friday, Hall of Fame coaching legends Gary Williams and Jim Calhoun teamed up for “Lunch with the Legends” at the University Club in advance of the Maryland men’s basketball team’s season-opener against Connecticut at the Barclays Center. The luncheon, hosted by broadcast legend, Johnny Holliday, featured special guest and Maryland alum Jimmy Roberts, one of the country’s finest sports broadcasters.

Both coaches were great and shared why they dedicated their life to working in college athletics.

“You have the kids for four critical years,” said Williams during the question and answer session. “It is a big part of their development both athletically and academically and it is a huge responsibility.”

A three-time national champion at UConn, Calhoun spoke passionately about the game of basketball.

“We owe a great deal to the game of basketball,” Calhoun said. “There’s nothing more satisfying than working in the sport you love on a day-to-day basis.”

Williams and Calhoun, in addition to former Maryland players Tahj Holden and Walt Williams, engaged with attendees as they reflected on their respective national championship winning teams.

…. A special thanks to the Barclays Center for being such a wonderful host to our fans last Friday and their very special gift to a scholarship foundation that is very close to my heart.

I had the privilege and honor to accept a $10,000 check on behalf of the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation from Barclays Center in the first half of last Friday's men's basketball game against UConn. The check was presented by Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.   

The McLendon Foundation was founded by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 1998. The organization provides educational opportunities and serves as a vehicle for networking, information and advocacy on behalf of the profession.

Since its inception, the program has provided more than 65 postgradute scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each to minority students pursuing a postgraduate degree in athletics administration.

….Terrapin legend and Brooklyn native Albert King was recognized during last Friday’s game against UConn. King’s #55 jersey currently graces the rafters of the Comcast Center for his contributions to the Maryland Terrapin basketball program from 1977-1981.

Regarded as the nation’s best high school player as a senior at Fort Hamilton High School, King ended one of the most publicized recruitment efforts of the era by choosing Maryland over 500 other colleges across the country.

After tallying 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds as a freshman and then earning All-America accolades as a sophomore, King turned in a season for the ages as a junior. The all-purpose Terp broke the then-Maryland single-season record with 674 points, earning two appearances on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He garnered ACC Player of the Year and first team All-America for his efforts honors. Over 30 years later, King remains among the top-four scorers all-time in Maryland history.

King was one of four Terrapins selected in the 1981 draft, selected 10th overall by the New Jersey Nets, alongside teammate Buck Williams. He played in the NBA for nine seasons.

Special Congratulations to Missy Meharg and the Terps’ field hockey program … Top-ranked Maryland (20-1) beat No. 3 North Carolina, 2-0 last Sunday in the ACC Championship game in Boston for the Terps' 10th ACC title - all under head coach Missy Meharg.  Wishing you the best of luck this weekend in the opening round of the NCAA Championship.

A salute to the men's soccer program and Sasho Cirovski for their overtime win at Virginia Tech last Friday night.  The win clinched a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championship and the top seed in the upcoming ACC championship for the Terps as they conclude their final season in the league.

The title marks Maryland’s 24th ACC Regular Season Championship in program history. It’s the Terps’ second consecutive title and their third since 2005. Maryland hosts Boston College at 7 pm Tuesday in the ACC Quarterfinals at Ludwig Field. The semifinals and championship will be held Friday and Sunday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown.

And finally … here is to senior Sarah Harper who broke a 20-year-old program record Sunday as she surpassed Nicole Lantage as the Maryland volleyball team’s all-time digs leader. Harper broke the record with her 14th dig in the third set, and currently stands at 1,671.

Look forward to seeing you on campus!

We appreciate your support!

Go Terps!