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Gary Williams
Gary Williams during the Maryland-Florida State game at the Comcast Center, February 16, 2008
Title Head coach
College Maryland
Sport Basketball
Team record 441-237 (.650)
Born March 4, 1945 (1945-03-04) (age 65)
Place of birth United States Collingswood, NJ
Career highlights
Overall 648-365 (.640)
NCAA Division I Tournament Championship (2002)
Regional Championships - Final Four (2001, 2002)
ACC Tournament Championship (2004)
ACC Regular Season Championship (1995, 2002, 2010)
Big East Regular Season Championship (1983)
ECC Regular Season Championship (1981)
2-time ACC Coach of the Year (2002, 2010)
Playing career
1964–1968 Maryland
Position Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Woodrow Wilson HS
Lafayette (asst.)
Boston College (asst.)
Boston College
Ohio State

Gary B. Williams (born March 4, 1945 in Collingswood, New Jersey, United States) is the current head coach of the University of Maryland's men's college basketball team.



Playing career

Williams played for Maryland as the starting point guard under coach Bud Millikan. He was a member of the 1966 Charlotte Invitational Tournament championship team and the 1965 Sugar Bowl Tournament championship team. He set a Maryland record for field goal percentage, going 8-for-8 from the field in an ACC game against South Carolina in 1966 (35 years later a Williams pupil, Lonny Baxter, would break that record, hitting all ten of his field goal attempts.) Williams was the Maryland team captain in 1967. He graduated in 1968 with a B.S. in Business. While at the University of Maryland, Williams was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.[1]

Coaching career

Early coaching career

Prior to entering the college ranks, Williams was a successful high school basketball coach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey. He won a NJSIAA State championship as head varsity coach at Wilson High. With his chance to learn under Dr. Tom Davis, Williams left to become an assistant basketball coach at Lafayette College in 1972 and continued at Boston College in 1977 until he became a head coach. He was also the head soccer coach at Lafayette College during his assistant coaching job.[2]

Williams held three head coaching position prior to Maryland. In 1978, Williams obtained his first head coaching position at American University. He led American to relative success, coaching them to several NIT berths. In 1982, Williams returned to Boston College, leading the Eagles to two NCAA tournament appearances, and one NIT appearance in his four year tenure. In 1986, Williams took over at Ohio State of the Big Ten Conference. Under Williams, the Buckeyes advanced to one NCAA tournament appearance and two NIT appearances in three seasons.


The Maryland Terrapins, an original member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, announced Williams as its next head coach on June 13, 1989. The basketball program and the Maryland athletic program as a whole were still reeling from the aftershock of the 1986 death of Maryland basketball star Len Bias and struggles under coach Bob Wade, a former high school coach from Baltimore.

Williams coached the 1989–90 squad to a respectable 18–13 record and an NIT berth. However, in March 1990, the NCAA imposed near-death-penalty sanctions on the school for actions committed under Wade. Maryland received a two-year postseason ban that cut scholarships and imposed a one-year television ban, punishments that hampered the rebuilding process. This made Maryland an unattractive program for both local and national recruits. However, with the help of Walt Williams, Maryland stayed competitive through a low point of the program's history.

The program returned consistently to top-25 Associated Press poll rankings from 1993 until 2005 under Williams. Maryland's teams featured future NBA players such as Joe Smith, Steve Francis, Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, Lonny Baxter, Terence Morris, and Chris Wilcox, and a cast of supportive role players, exemplified by Byron Mouton.

On April 1, 2002, Williams led the Terrapins to their first NCAA National Championship, defeating Indiana 64–52. Williams is the only coach to ever win a national championship without a single McDonalds All American on the roster since it's inception. He became the first coach to direct his alma mater to a national title since Norm Sloan accomplished the feat with North Carolina State in 1974. In March 2004, Maryland won the ACC Tournament Title, defeating Duke 85–74, led by Tournament MVP John Gilchrist.

In the 2004–2005 season, Maryland failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1993–1994 season, which was then the longest streak in the ACC.[3] This began a relatively mediocre stretch for Maryland, where they failed to make the tournament three out of the next five years.

Recently though with the arrival of point guard Greivis Vasquez Williams' teams have come back to national prominence. The Terrapins were the ACC Co-Champions of the 2009-2010 regular season. The same season, Williams also earned his second ACC Coach of the Year award.

Coaching Profile

As of March 2009, Gary Williams is the 6th winningest active coach in the country and the 3rd winningest coach all-time in the ACC. In his 30 years as a Head Coach, Williams has amassed an overall record of 625–357 (.636) and 418–229 (.646) at Maryland. Williams' Maryland teams have performed exceptionally well at Cole Field House and the Comcast Center. Under his direction, the Terps are 254–59 (.811) at home including a 142–6 (.959) mark against non-conference foes. Between 1989 and 2003, Williams and Maryland won 87 consecutive non-conference home games. That streak was ended on December 14, 2002 by Billy Donovan's Florida Gators.

Coach Williams has an overall NCAA tournament record of 28–15 (.651), 24–12 at his alma mater. His 28 wins in the NCAA tournament places him seventh among active coaches in that category. Williams has coached Maryland to thirteen NCAA tournament appearances, including a streak of eleven consecutive appearances (1993-1994 season to 2003-2004 season), as well as four post season NIT appearances, allowing Maryland to own the longest current consecutive streak of postseason appearances in the ACC (Wake Forest, who had previously had the longest active streak, failed to qualify for the postseason in 2007.) Additionally, Williams has 70 wins over top-25 ranked opponents, 33 wins over top-10 ranked opponents, 19 wins over top-5 opponents, three ACC regular season titles (co-champions in 1995 and 2010, and outright champions in 2002), and an ACC tournament title (2004). Williams' NCAA Tournament accomplishments include seven Sweet Sixteens, two Elite Eights, two Final Fours, and a national championship in 2002. Williams also leads active coaches with seven wins over top-ranked teams, the most recent coming against North Carolina on January 19, 2008. Since 1995, Coach Williams and Maryland have averaged 22.5 wins per season. Williams has led the Terrapins to at least 20 wins in 10 of the last 13 seasons and is tied with Rick Pitino for 6th among active coaches with 17 career 20-win seasons.

Recent Milestones Since 2005-06 Season

A home victory over Virginia on January 19, 2005, moved Williams into a tie with former Virginia head coach Terry Holland as the fifth winningest coach in ACC history. On January 21, 2006, a home victory over Virginia Tech earned Williams his 142nd ACC win, moving him into a tie with former Carolina head coach Frank McGuire for third place in that category. Four nights later, a victory over Georgia Tech gave him third place outright.

On February 7, 2006, a 76–65 home victory over Virginia gave Williams his 349th win, allowing him to pass Lefty Driesell as the university's all-time winningest head coach. On February 3, 2007, a road victory over Wake Forest earned Williams his 150th ACC victory. He is the third coach in conference history to accomplish this feat; only Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski have won more conference games.

On February 6, 2008, a 70–65 road victory over Boston College gave Williams his 600th win. Gary Williams is one of only 8 active NCAA basketball head coaches with at least 600 wins.

On November 21, 2008, a 89–74 overtime home victory over Vermont gave Williams his 400th victory at his alma mater. In ACC history, Williams stands alongside Smith and Krzyzewski as the only coaches to amass this number of wins.

On February 21, 2009, Williams upset #3 (AP/ESPN Coaches Polls) University of North Carolina, 88-85 in OT. Then on March 12, Williams' Terps earned another victory over a Top-10 opponent, defeating #8 Wake Forest, the second-seeded team, 75-64 in the quarterfinals of the 2009 ACC Tournament, following a 74-69 victory over N.C. State in the opening round. The victory over the Demon Deacons was Williams' 17th ACC Tournament victory, tying Lefty Driesell for the most in school history.

Williams coached in his 1000th game on January 22, 2010, an 88-64 victory over NC State.

On March 9, 2010, he was named the ACC coach of the year.[4]

Personal life

Williams was married to Diane McMillen from 1968 to 1990. Together, they had a daughter, Kristin, who works as a schoolteacher. Williams is a grandfather of three, including a pair of twins.

He is good friends with Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, going back to his days at Boston College. Williams golfs often with Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, and is a frequent guest of Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti in the owner's suite at Ravens games.

Williams was one of thirteen college coaches to appear in EA Sports' NCAA March Madness 2004. As part of the "Coaches Council", he imparted information and guidance to the gamer.

He has been a member of the University of Maryland's Alumni Hall of Fame since June 2005.


Williams exclusively runs the flex offense, with a strong emphasis on first getting the ball inside to the post, and once the opposing defense collapses, distributing the ball to the perimeter. On defense, he favors a highly physical, pressing and trapping style, using turnovers to key the offense through the fast break. His defensive philosophy is inspired largely by the Jack Ramsay-coached Saint Joseph's teams he watched while growing up in the Philadelphia area.

He has drawn a great deal of both criticism and humor for his on-court demeanor. Williams is known for his pre-game fist pump at home games to pump up the Maryland student section. He is also known for being incredibly animated towards his bench, especially when one of his on-court players has a miscue. There are followers of the program who contend that these acts are merely a function of Williams' competitive drive, and that on the whole, these acts belie Williams' gift as a teacher of the game. Juan Dixon, starting shooting guard on Maryland's national championship team, spoke highly of Williams in the introduction to the book Sweet Redemption, labeling him as a father-figure.

Williams has gained a reputation as a recruiter who almost exclusively goes after less-heralded players ("diamonds in the rough") and develops them into major Division I talents. An opposing coach, Dave Odom, once said in a newspaper interview that Williams "has made a living off of the player who is maybe one or two tools short of the complete package (say, height or leaping ability), but who competes hard and plays with a chip on his shoulder." True enough, much of his success in the years since the university worked itself out of NCAA sanctions is due to players that fit that mold. Williams has vehemently defended his recruiting methods on numerous occasions; in a 2001 ESPN interview, Williams remarked, "Satisfaction in your job to me isn't just getting some list and saying, 'OK, that guy is rated top in the country. OK, we have to recruit him to be a good coaching staff'...Why not be a coach instead of a used car salesman?"1

The Washington Post published an extensive expose on Williams' tenure from the 2002 title year to mid-season 2008–09.[5] In its three-part feature, the newspapers' Maryland athletics beat writers analyzed the recruiting process used by Williams, noting how local prep basketball talent went elsewhere for college. It cited that Williams refused to associate closely with local AAU program directors and coaches, due in part, at least, to their questionable reputations. The Post asserted this reticence was primarily due to the Rudy Gay recruiting episode, in which UConn, the player's ultimate choice, was suspected of NCAA violations.[6] The Baltimore Sun staff writers covering Maryland have challenged Williams' recruiting procedures, however also noted how his personality reflects whom he recruits.[7]

Coaching tree and NBA picks

Many of Williams' former assistants have gone on to earn head coaching positions. These include:

Rick Barnes - an assistant to Williams at Ohio State. Has had successful tenures at Providence and Clemson, and is currently the head coach of Texas, whom he guided to the Final Four in 2003.

Fran Fraschilla - was also on Williams' Ohio State staff. Had a successful run at Manhattan. He also was the head coach at St. John's and New Mexico. He now serves as an ESPN college basketball analyst.

Fran Dunphy - served as an assistant to Williams at American. During a seventeen year tenure at Penn, he won 310 games (a school record) and 10 Ivy League titles. Successor to John Chaney at Temple.

Jimmy Patsos - served on Williams' staff at Maryland from 1991 to 2004, now the head coach at Loyola.

Mike Lonergan - former national championship-winning head coach at The Catholic University of America who was on Williams' Maryland staff during the 2004-05 season. Successor to Tom Brennan at Vermont.

Dave Dickerson - served on Williams' staff at Maryland from 1996 to 2005, now the head coach at Tulane.

28 of Williams' players have been drafted by the NBA. This includes four lottery picks since 1992. Among the more prominent names:

In addition, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, who played for Williams in the late 1990s, was signed by the Indiana Pacers in the summer of 2005. More recently, Chris McCray, who was academically ineligible to play basketball the majority of his senior year at Maryland, was not picked in the NBA draft, but signed a free agent contract with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks in September 2006 and D. J. Strawberry, son of former major leaguer Darryl Strawberry was signed by the Phoenix Suns after being selected 59th in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Strawberry now plays for the Reno Bighorns.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
American (East Coast Conference) (1978–1982)
1978–1979 American 14-13 7-4 4th
1979–1980 American 13-14 5-6 4th
1980–1981 American 24-6 11-0 1st NIT 1st Round
1981–1982 American 21-9 8-3 3rd NIT 1st Round
American: 72-42 31-13
Boston College (Big East Conference) (1982–1986)
1982–1983 Boston College 25-7 12-4 1st NCAA 2nd Round
1983–1984 Boston College 18-12 8-8 4th NIT 2nd Round
1984–1985 Boston College 20-11 7-9 6th NCAA Sweet 16
1985–1986 Boston College 13-15 4-12 7th
Boston College: 76-45 31-33
Ohio State (Big Ten Conference) (1986–1989)
1986–1987 Ohio State 20-13 9-9 6th NCAA 2nd Round
1987–1988 Ohio State 20-13 9-9 6th NIT Runner-Up
1988–1989 Ohio State 19-15 6-12 8th NIT Quarterfinals
Ohio State: 59-41 24-30
Maryland (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1989–present)
1989–1990 Maryland 19-14 6-8 T-5th NIT 2nd Round
1990–1991 Maryland 16-12 5-9 T-7th
1991–1992 Maryland 14-15 5-11 8th
1992–1993 Maryland 12-16 2-14 8th
1993–1994 Maryland 18-12 8-8 T-4th NCAA Sweet 16
1994–1995 Maryland 26-8 12-4 T-1st NCAA Sweet 16
1995–1996 Maryland 17-13 8-8 T-4th NCAA 1st Round
1996–1997 Maryland 21-11 9-7 T-4th NCAA 1st Round
1997–1998 Maryland 21-11 10-6 3rd NCAA Sweet 16
1998–1999 Maryland 28-6 13-3 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1999–2000 Maryland 25-10 11-5 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2000–2001 Maryland 25-11 10-6 3rd NCAA Final Four
2001–2002 Maryland 32-4 15-1 1st NCAA Champions
2002–2003 Maryland 21-10 11-5 T-2nd NCAA Sweet 16
2003–2004 Maryland 20-12 7-9 T-6th NCAA 2nd Round
2004–2005 Maryland 19-13 7-9 T-6th NIT Semifinals
2005–2006 Maryland 19-13 8-8 6th NIT 1st Round
2006–2007 Maryland 25-9 10-6 T-3rd NCAA 2nd Round
2007–2008 Maryland 19-15 8-8 T-5th NIT 2nd Round
2008–2009 Maryland 21-14 7-9 T-7th NCAA 2nd Round
2009–2010 Maryland 23-8 13-3 T-1st
Maryland: 441-237 185-147
Total: 648-365

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

See also


External links

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