Gary Williams
Gary Williams

Player Profile
Collingswood, N.J.

Head Coach

22nd season at UM

Alma Mater:
Maryland '68


MBB vs. Boston College

Maryland vs. Boston College - December 10, 2006


MBB vs. Winthrop

Maryland vs. Winthrop - November 20, 2006 (photos courtesy of Associated Press)

Since returning to the College Park campus in 1989, Gary Williams (Maryland '68) has led his alma mater's basketball program from a period of troubled times to an era of national prominence.

With 14 NCAA Tournament berths in the last 17 seasons, seven Sweet Sixteen appearances, a pair of consecutive Final Four showings, and the 2002 National Championship - the first of its kind in Maryland basketball history - Williams and his staff have literally forged what is now more than a decade of dominance in college basketball's most storied and competitive conference.

After leading the Terrapins to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in 2010, Williams was voted the league's Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. It was his second such award, as he was also honored in 2002.

Now with 442 victories as Maryland's head coach, Williams stands as the Terrapins all-time winningest head basketball coach. He passed Charles "Lefty" Driesell, who amassed 348 victories in 18 seasons from 1969 to 1986. The Terrapins have averaged 22.6 wins per year since the 1994-95 season.

With 649 career victories in 32 seasons overall, Williams is the 5th-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball. The rise of the Maryland program has run parallel with Williams' ascent among the most notable in the collegiate coaching fraternity. Williams was one of only five coaches to boast a string of 11 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1994-2004. He has produced at least 20 wins in 12 of his last 15 seasons, and in a school-record eight straight from 1996-97 to 2003-04. With 18 career 20-win seasons, Williams is seventh among active coaches.

  • Williams was inducted into the Baltimore Sports Hall of Legends in a September ceremony. He joins such Maryland state luminaries as Babe Ruth, John Unitas, Brooks Robinson and Jim McKay.

  • In June of 2005, Williams received the University of Maryland's highest alumni honor as he, Connie Chung, Renaldo Nehemiah and others were inducted into the University of Maryland's Alumni Hall of Fame. Williams was inducted into the University of Maryland's Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

  • In January of 2005, Williams was named one of Washingtonian Magazine's Washingtonians of the Year. He joined others such as Washington D.C. mayor Anthony Williams and Tim Russert of NBC's Meet The Press on the prestigious list.

  • In September of 2004, Williams joined Washington Redskins great Darrell Green and Washington Sports and Entertainment Chairman and CEO Abe Pollin as the inaugural inductees into the new Greater Washington Sports Hall of Champions.

  • Williams was one of only five coaches in NCAA Division I to have led his team to 11 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, from 1994-2004. The Terrapins' 2010 appearance in the NCAA Tournament marks the 17th consecutive postseason berth for Williams' teams.

  • In guiding his 2004 Terrapins to the ACC Tournament title, Williams became the third coach in league history to lead his team to victory over the top three seeds: No. 3 Wake Forest, No. 2 NC State and No. 1 Duke. By overcoming a 21-point first half deficit against the Wolfpack, Williams engineered the greatest comeback in the 52-year history of the ACC Tournament.

  • He is one of seven college basketball coaches since 1980 to guide his alma mater to the Final Four and was the first since 1974 to lead his alma mater to a national title.

  • A winner of nearly 70 percent of his NCAA Tournament games while at Maryland, he ranks ninth among active coaches in NCAA Tournament winning percentage overall (29-16, .644), and eighth in wins (29).

  • With his 500th win at NC State on March 2, 2003, the 1968 Maryland grad became the sixth ACC alumnus in conference history to amass as many as 500 coaching victories.

  • With a victory over No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Jan. 19, 2008, he is the winningest coach in the nation against top-ranked opponents (7).

  • With 442 wins as Maryland¡¦s head coach, Williams is only the sixth mentor in Atlantic Coast Conference history to pass the 300-victory milestone.

  • With 185 career regular-season ACC victories as Maryland's coach, Williams ranks as the third-winningest ACC coach in terms of conference victories. Only Dean Smith (364, North Carolina) and Mike Krzyzewski (274, Duke) have more ACC wins.

  • Williams coached the 1,000th game of his 32-year career on 1/23/2010 at home against NC State.

    Williams was heralded as the national and Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year during the Terps' 2002 championship run. He is one of just 11 active coaches in America to boast a national title and one of only three in the conference.

    He has become the third-winningest coach in ACC history after transforming the Maryland program into one of the nation's most formidable, and building a Baltimore-D.C. area following that has consistently resulted in packed arenas.

    After demolishing attendance records with sellout crowds during the final years of Maryland basketball at Cole Field House, Williams' Terps have finished in the top 10 nationally in each of the last nine seasons. The Terrapins played before 341,050 fans in 2007-08, averaging 100 percent of capacity for the second time in Comcast Center history.

    Williams is one of just two 600-win coaches who now engineer the programs at their respective alma maters, joining Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. With Roy Williams of North Carolina, those three also are the only active coaches to direct their alma maters to at least one Final Four appearance.

    In 2001, Williams became just the sixth coach since 1980 to direct his alma mater to the Final Four. A year later, he became the first coach since 1974 to guide his alma mater to a national title. Williams is the only active coach to take his alma mater to consecutive Final Four appearances. He is only the eighth mentor ever to guide his alma mater to consecutive Final Fours, and the first since Houston's Guy Lewis in 1982, 1983 and 1984.

    A former Terrapin point guard and 1968 graduate, Williams was a starter under coach Bud Millikan during the 1965, 1966 and 1967 seasons. He was the team captain as a senior and still lists one of his most memorable basketball moments as his experience as a spectator at the 1966 national championship game conducted at Maryland's legendary Cole Field House, between Texas Western and Kentucky.

    The former Terrapin student-athlete is also noted as one of just eight former ACC basketball players ever to return to the league as a head coach. On March 2, 2003, Williams became the sixth ACC alumnus to win at least 500 games as Drew Nicholas nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to down NC State, 68-65. Williams is only the sixth ACC coach to reach the 300 milestone.

    Inducted into the University of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and the University's Alumni Hall of Fame in 2005, Williams has placed his alma mater's program back among the elite in the always-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. The Terps have become synonymous with Duke and North Carolina among the league's most dominant programs, and nationally have become a fixture among weekly polls.

    Williams was hired on June 13, 1989. He inherited a team that had won only nine games the year before and finished in last place in the ACC. Displaying his coaching abilities immediately, he helped the Terps to 19 wins while advancing to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament - and making him the first coach in school history to lead a team into the postseason in his first year. In addition, Maryland's 10-game improvement in the win column during Williams' first season was the largest in school history and second largest in the annals of the ACC by a first-year coach. Only the legendary Press Maravich, who improved NC State's winning ledger by 13 games in his inaugural season (1965), can boast a higher first-year improvement in the win column.

    A 1968 graduate of Maryland, Williams lettered as the Terps' starting point guard from 1965-67 under head coach Bud Millikan, serving as team captain during his senior season. It was as a player in the ACC that Williams began developing his basketball philosophy. He studied the game under Millikan, and it was then that he developed his penchant for the full-court pressure defenses for which his teams are now known. He learned his half court man-to-man defense from Millikan, who learned from the legendary Hank Iba. The fast-breaking offense that Williams' teams employ is similar to the style Vic Bubas' Duke teams used when Williams was a player.

    Path Back To College Park

    Williams began his coaching career as a graduate student at Maryland under freshman coach Tom Davis. The 1969 freshman team finished with a 12-4 record as Williams bonded with Davis in a relationship that would serve him well as his coaching career progressed.

    After earning a degree in business, he continued his coaching career as an assistant at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, N.J. After one year, he took over as the head coach and guided his first team to a perfect 27-0 record and the state title. Williams has called that season "the ultimate -- there wasn't another game to win." Upon winning the NCAA West Region championship in 2001, he fondly recalled his championship at Camden as the "only other time I've ever got to cut down a net."

    Williams spent one more year at Woodrow Wilson before accepting an invitation from Davis in 1972 to become an assistant at Lafayette College. While an assistant at Lafayette, Williams also served as the head soccer coach. In 1978, Williams accompanied Davis to Boston College. After one year there, Williams became the head coach at American University.

    Williams immediately began making his mark. His 1981 squad set the still-standing school record for victories with a 24-6 mark, won the East Coast Conference championship, and played in the NIT. Williams was named the district coach of the year. American returned to postseason play the next season as the Williams-led Eagles went 21-9 and played in the NIT for the second consecutive year. Only once prior to Williams' arrival had AU attended a postseason tournament, and the Eagles have not returned since. Williams' four-year record at AU was 72-42.

    In 1983, Williams succeeded Davis at Boston College. He was once again an instant success, posting a 25-7 record and leading the Eagles to the regular-season championship of the Big East in his first season. Making his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Williams directed the Eagles to the Sweet 16. He finished third in the balloting for national coach of the year, and was honored again as the Eastern Coach of the Year by his peers. He went on to duplicate that NCAA Tournament success again in 1985, leading B.C. back to the Sweet Sixteen.

    In 1987, Williams accepted the head coaching job at Ohio State, becoming the 10th basketball coach in that school's illustrious history. He succeeded Eldon Miller and once again enjoyed success. In three years, the Buckeyes made three postseason appearances. His first squad defeated then-No. 1 and unbeaten Iowa (coached by Tom Davis) in the regular season, in what would be the first of many giant-killings. During Williams' three-year term at Ohio State, OSU defeated a second-ranked Purdue team, perennial power Kansas and highly regarded Big Ten powers Michigan and Illinois. Each of Williams' three Ohio State teams advanced to postseason play, and he laid the groundwork for the highly successful teams that followed when he left Columbus for College Park.

    Williams' recent charity work has benefited:

  • Coaches vs. Cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • National Autism Research
  • National Physical Education Council
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Babe Ruth Museum

    The Gary Williams File

    Year-By-Year Head Coaching Record

    YearSchoolWLPct.WLPct.FinishNCAA Tournament Participation
    1978-79American 1413.519 74.6364th
    1979-80American 1314.481 56.4555th
    1980-81American 246.800110 1.0001st
    1981-82American 219.70083 .7273rd
    1982-83Boston Coll.257 .781124 .750T-1stNCAA West Region Semifinals (1-1)
    1983-84Boston Coll.1812.60088 .5004th
    1984-85Boston Coll.2011.64579 .4386thNCAA Midwest Region Semifinals (2-1)
    1985-86Boston Coll.1315.464412 .2507th
    1986-87Ohio State2013.60699 .5006thNCAA Southeast Region Second Round (1-1)
    1987-88Ohio State2013.60699.5006th
    1988-89Ohio State1915.559612 .3338th
    1990-91Maryland1612.57159 .3577th
    1992-93Maryland1216.429214 .1258th
    1993-94Maryland1812.60088 .500T-4thNCAA Midwest Region Semifinals (2-1)
    1994-95Maryland268.765124 .750T-1stNCAA West Region Semifinals (2-1)
    1995-96Maryland1713 .56788 .500T-4thNCAA West Region First Round (0-1)
    1996-97Maryland2111.65697 .563T-4thNCAA Southeast Region First Round (0-1)
    1997-98Maryland2111.656106 .6253rdNCAA West Region Semifinals (2-1)
    1998-99Maryland286 .824133 .8132ndNCAA South Region Semifinals (2-1)
    1999-00Maryland2510.714115 .6882ndNCAA Midwest Region Second Round (1-1)
    2000-01Maryland2511 .694106 .6253rdNCAA Final Four, West Region Champions (4-1)
    2001-02Maryland324.889151 .9381stNCAA Final Four, NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (6-0)
    2002-03Maryland2110.677115 .688T-2ndNCAA South Region Semifinals (2-1)
    2003-04Maryland2012.62579.4386thNCAA Denver Regional Second Round (1-1)
    2006-07Maryland259.735106.625T-2ndNCAA Midwest Regional Second Round (1-1)
    2008-09Maryland2114.60079.438T-7thNCAA West Regional Second Round (1-1)
    2009-10Maryland249.727133.813T-1stNCAA Midwest Regional Second Round (1-1)
    4 YearsAmerican7242 .6323113 .705
    4 YearsBoston Coll.7645 .6283133 .484NCAA - 3-2
    3 YearsOhio State5941 .5902430 .444NCAA - 1-1
    21 YearsMaryland442238.650185148 .556NCAA - 25-13 (.658)
    32 YearsOverall649366.639271224 .547NCAA - 29-16 (.644)

    Coaching Honors

  • Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist, 1995, 1997, 2002
  • National Coach of the Year, 2002 (Basketball America,
  • Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, 2002, 2010
  • Victor Award, 2002 (National Academy of Sports Editors)
  • Winged Foot Award, 2002 (N.Y. Athletic Club)
  • Harry Litwack Eastern Coach of the Year Award, 2002 (Herb Good Basketball Club of Philadelphia)
  • District Coach of the Year, 2002 (Basketball Times)
  • Seaboard Region Coach of the Year, 1997, 2002 (Basketball Times & Eastern Basketball)
  • National Coach of the Year, 2001 (Playboy)
  • Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, 2000 (College Hoops Illustrated)
  • Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, 1998 (ACC Athlete Magazine)
  • U.S. Olympic Team Selection Committee, 1988
  • Eastern Coach of the Year, 1983
  • National Coach of the Year, second runner-up, 1983
  • District Coach of the Year, 1981

    International Experience

  • Five-game, 12-day tour of Italy with Maryland basketball team in August of 2004
  • Six-game, nine-day tour of France with Maryland basketball team in August of 1994
  • Six-game, nine-day tour of Germany with ACC All-Star Team in July of 1990
  • Eight-game, 12-day tour of Yugoslavia with Big East All-Star Team in July of 1984

    Playing Experience

  • 1965-67, University of Maryland, basketball letterwinner
  • 1964, University of Maryland, freshman basketball team
  • 1961-64, Collingswood High School, lettered four years in basketball and baseball

    Playing Honors

  • Maryland team captain, 1967
  • Maryland field goal percentage record (1.000, 8-8) vs. South Carolina, 12-10-66
  • Member 1965 Sugar Bowl Tournament title team and 1966 Charlotte Invitational Tournament championship team

    Education: University of Maryland, 1968, B.S. in business; Collingswood (N.J.) High School, 1964
    Family: Daughter: Kristin Scott, Son-in-law: Geoff Scott, Grandchildren: David Geoffrey Scott, Lauren Kelly Scott and John William Scott


    1.Mike Krzyzewski, Duke868
    2.Jim Boeheim, Syracuse829
    3.Jim Calhoun, Connecticut823
    4.Bob Huggins, West Virginia670
    5.Gary Williams, Maryland649
    6.Jerry Slocum, Youngstown State629
    7.Homer Drew, Valparaiso617
    8.Roy Williams, North Carolina614
    9.Bo Ryan, Wisconsin600
    10.Mike Montgomery, California593
    1.Jim Boeheim, Syracuse32
    2.Mike Krzyzewski, Duke26
    3.Jim Calhoun, Connecticut23
    4. Bob Huggins, West Virginia22
    5.Roy Williams, North Carolina20
    6.Mike Montgomery, California19
    T7.Gary Williams, Maryland18
    T7. Rick Pitino, Louisville18


    1.Mike Krzyzewski, Duke77
    2.Roy Williams, North Carolina55
    3.Jim Boeheim, Syracuse44
    3.Jim Calhoun, Connecticut43
    5.Rick Pitino, Louisville38
    6.Tom Izzo, Michigan State35
    T7.Gary Williams, Maryland29
    T7.Tubby Smith, Minnesota29


    1.Dean Smith, North Carolina879
    2.Mike Krzyzewski, Duke795
    3.Gary Williams, Maryland442
    4.Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech354
    5.Lefty Driesell, Maryland348
    6.Terry Holland, Virginia326
    7.Norm Sloan, NC State266
    8.Frank McGuire, UNC & USC264
    9.Dave Odom, Wake Forest240
    10.Carl Tacy, Wake Forest222


    1.Dean Smith, North Carolina422
    2.Mike Krzyzewski, Duke358
    3.Gary Williams, Maryland202
    4.Frank McGuire, UNC & USC160
    5.Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech149
    6.Lefty Driesell, Maryland139
    7.Vic Bubas, Duke128
    8.Terry Holland, Virginia126
    9.Norm Sloan, NC State117
    10.Dave Odom, Wake Forest110

    Records through 2009-10 season

    Coaches Guiding Their Alma Maters To National Championships

    Phog Allen, Kansas1952
    Jim Boeheim, Syracuse 2003
    Bud Foster, Wisconsin1941
    Howard Hobson, Oregon1939
    Ed Jucker, Cincinnati1961, 1962
    Branch McCracken, Indiana1940, 1953
    Vadal Peterson, Utah1944
    Norm Sloan, NC State1974
    Fred Taylor, Ohio State1960
    Gary Williams, Maryland2002
    Roy Williams, North Carolina2005, 2009

    Coaches Guiding Their Alma Maters To The Final Four Since 1980

    Jim Boeheim, Syracuse1987, 1996, 2003
    Lou Carnesecca, St. John's1985
    Guy Lewis, Houston1982, 1983, 1984
    Eddie Sutton, Oklahoma State1995, 2004
    Gary Williams, Maryland2001, 2002
    Richard Williams, Mississippi State1996
    Roy Williams, North Carolina2005, 2008, 2009