In his seventh season on Gary Williams' coaching staff, former Terrapin All-American and NBA World Champion Keith Booth is back to the place he called home as a student-athlete from 1994-97.
One of the top assistants in the nation, Booth attended the Achieving Coaching Excellence program offered by the Black Coaches Association in the summer of 2009. The program was designed to prpare the next generation of ethnic minority collegiate head basketball coaches.
"Keith is an outstanding young coach," said Terrapin head coach Gary Williams. "The program is a great opportunity for Keith to continue to grow in the coaching profession."
Booth assists with the daily operations of the men's basketball program, including recruiting, advance scouting, player development and game preparation. During his time on staff, the Terrapins have won no fewer than 19 games and posted 25 wins in 2006-07.
The Terrapins have reached the NCAA Tournament three times in his coaching tenure at Maryland.
A powerful and versatile athlete from his playing days in the post, Booth led the Terrapins to four NCAA Tournaments, including a pair of Sweet Sixteen appearances, and in 1994 began Maryland's streak of 11 consecutive NCAA berths that ran from 1994 to 2004.
In a dominant senior season at Maryland, Booth led the Terps in scoring (19.5 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg) and steals (2.0 spg) and is still Maryland's all-time leader in free throws made (576). Booth finished his impressive career at Maryland among the Terps' all-time leaders in scoring (9th, 1,776 points), rebounding (6th, 916 points), steals (5th, 193) and is one of 15 players to have his jersey honored above the Terps' home court at Comcast Center.
In October 2008, Booth was inducted into the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2010, Booth represented Maryland as one of the ACC Basketball Legends honored at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
Charm City Connection
The Baltimore, Md., native's decision to attend the University out of Dunbar High School was considered one of the major recruiting windfalls for Williams and the Terps in the mid-1990s. As a 6-foot-6 guard, Booth was frequently called upon by Williams to guard bigger opponents, and he always rose to occasion.
"Keith Booth was the most important recruit during my years here in terms of getting our basketball program to the national level," said Williams when Booth was introduced as an assistant coach at his alma mater. "Keith always achieved success against larger opponents, and his competitive attitude will carry over to our players."
As a senior at Dunbar, Booth was a Parade and McDonald's All-American selection, he also led his team to the Maryland Class "A" State Championship. Booth was named "Player of the Year" in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland by the Baltimore Sun. A year earlier, Booth led his Dunbar squad to a 29-0 record as a junior, helping the team to a No.1 national ranking by USA Today.
It was Booth's decision to attend Maryland that revived the Terps' recruiting pipeline to talent-rich Baltimore. Terrapin star Rodney Elliott followed Booth from the Charm City and enjoyed a successful career as a Terp, and in 1998 another Baltimore native, Juan Dixon, arrived on campus. Dixon, of course, would help continue Maryland's resurgence begun by Booth and teammate Joe Smith, as he eventually became the Terps' all-time scoring leader and keyed Maryland to the 2002 National Championship.
Back at Maryland, Booth assists in all facets of the basketball program. He will work with the athletics department's Academic Support and Career Development to ensure that the team's academic responsibilities are met. He will also assume responsibilities as the co-director of the Gary Williams basketball camp, coordinating the management of the coaches, scheduling of the facilities, housing, meals and guest speakers.
After a stellar career at Maryland playing alongside Smith, Elliott, Johnny Rhodes and others, Booth was an AP third team All-America selection as a senior in 1997. Booth left Maryland with a host of accolades including All-ACC honors four times, earning first-team honors as a senior, third team as a junior, and honorable mention designation during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Booth's teams appeared in two NCAA Sweet Sixteens, finishing his sophomore season as ACC regular season co-champions and ranked No. 10 in the country in the final AP poll. That year (1994-95) the Terps compiled a 26-8 record, including a perfect 16-0 record at Cole Field House. Booth finished his Terrapin career with averages of 14.1 points per game and 7.3 rebounds.
After his playing years at Maryland, Booth was a first round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1997, taken as the 28th selection overall. Booth became the second player in school history to win a NBA Championship when the Michael Jordan-led Bulls won the title in 1998. Booth had his best NBA game on March 30, 1999, as he posted career-highs of 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Following a pair of seasons in the NBA, Booth returned to campus and finished his degree in criminology and criminal justice in 2003. Booth worked at an after-school program at his former high school, Dunbar, and rediscovered his love of coaching while managing a middle-school baseball team in Baltimore.