May 6, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams made it official during a news conference Friday afternoon at the Comcast Center.
After a legendary head coaching career spanning 33 years, including the last 22 at his alma mater, Williams announced his retirement.
Williams was joined by Maryland director of athletics Director Kevin Anderson and University President Dr. Wallace D. Loh.
"I have great confidence in the future of the basketball program because of these gentlemen (Dr. Wallace Loh and Kevin Anderson) sitting here," Williams said. "It's not about supporting a player or a coach. It's about supporting the Maryland basketball program. The bottom line is this program is in capable hands. Our current players are going to do an outstanding job. I am very confident we can have a program for everyone to be proud of in the future."
At the hour-long news conference, Loh announced that the University would begin the steps to name the Comcast Center court after Williams.
"Gary, you are a champion on the court, and a champion in the community," Loh said. "Your legacy here will live forever. So therefore, in the coming weeks I will join Kevin Anderson in accepting his recommendation to the Board of Regents of this university that this basketball court be named in your honor."
A member of the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame, Greater Washington Sports Hall of Champions, and the Baltimore Sports Legends Museum Hall of Legends, Williams is the fifth-winningest active coach in the country, and third in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind only Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.
In his 33 years as a head coach, he amassed an overall record of 668-380 (.637) , including 461-252 (.646) at Maryland. Williams also served as head coach at Ohio State, Boston College and American.
His career is nothing short of extraordinary: 14 NCAA tournament appearances, three ACC regular season titles, ACC tournament championships, seven Sweet Sixteens, two Elite Eights, two Final Fours and a National Championship in 2002. Williams was the National Coach of the Year in 2002, and the ACC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2010.
"Gary has made it great to be a Terp," Anderson said. "We're here today to celebrate a great man, a great father, a great grandfather and a terrific coach. I've had the opportunity to work with some pretty special people but no one's more special than Gary Williams. He's more than a coach. He's a teacher, he's a friend, and he's a wonderful, wonderful human being."
Since 2004, Williams has served as the scholarship co-chair for Great Expectations, Maryland's $1 billion fundraising campaign. His efforts on behalf of Maryland students have helped raise over $240 million for scholarships at the University of Maryland.