Baltimore Sun

Ex-Terps coach on way to another hall of fame

Williams to be first Coaches Legacy Award honoree

- By Hayes Gardner

The basketball court at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center is already named in his honor, and he’s been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but former Terps men’s basketball coach Gary Williams received another feather in his cap Tuesday.

Williams, who guided Maryland to the 2002 NCAA men’s basketball championsh­ip and is the winningest coach in program history, will be inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame as the inaugural Coaches Legacy Award honoree.

“I certainly appreciate the honor,” he said. The 2002 team reunited this year to celebrate the 20-year anniversar­y of the school’s only NCAA title, and Williams said he tries to keep up with local players, including his former star guard, Juan Dixon, who coaches at Coppin State.

“I look at a Juan Dixon, and it seems like yesterday where he was making me look good as a coach, and he’s 42 now,” Williams said. To Williams’ point, Dixon is actually 43. Williams, who lives in Potomac, said after retirement it took him a couple of years to get accustomed to life away from being a busy coach. But now he has time to leisurely watch college basketball games, rather than simply studying tape of future opponents.

“It’s funny, you get to watch more games because you’re not just watching tape of the next team. I’ll watch a Pac-12 game,” he said. “I never watched a Pac-12 game before.”

Other inductees into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame were the late Len Bias, Dave Cottle, the late Leon Day, Darryl Hill, Fred McNair IV, Marty West III and Carl Runk.

As the inductees spoke at a news conference Tuesday outside the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, McNair praised Williams.

“[I’m] a great admirer of not just your success, but your passion,” he said.

The 2022 induction banquet will take place Oct. 13 at Martin’s West in Baltimore.

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