By Marc Summy –
After 22 seasons as Maryland University men’s Division 1 basketball coach, Gary Williams throws in the towel.
Williams, who retired Thursday, May 5, noted that, “It’s the right time.”
While under Coach Williams the Terrapins went 461-252.
A state away, the Terrapins coach retirement was noticed here.
Avid sports fan and Penn Manor teacher Gordon Eck says, “He is a really good coach. The reason that the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) is so good, every year, is because of coaches like Williams. He has helped to raise the level of the conference.”
Not only has Williams earned an impressive record but has also led his team to the NCAA tournament 14 times, won or shared three ACC titles, reached the Final Four twice and won a National Championship in 2002.
The humble Williams had this to say about his coaching experience, “My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing. I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here, I couldn’t have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great university. Together, we did something very special here.”
Gary Williams arrived at Maryland in 1989 where he inherited hefty NCAA violations. After taking over the basketball team they suffered two straight losing seasons before making it to the NCAA tournament. The Terps never struggled again having above .500 seasons each year.
Among some of the greats that have now gone to the NBA, Coach Gary breed winners Walt Williams, Juan Dixon, Joe Smith, Greivis Vasquez and Steve Blake.
Mr. Eck believes that some good will come from Williams’ retirement.
“It’s time for them (ACC) to get young coaches. You see how great young coaches can be, referencing to 35 year old Brad Stevens, who made it to back to back National Championships in 2010 and 2011. It gives an opportunity for a young coach to come out and make their mark,” Gordon Eck states.