COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ/UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND) — The floor of the basketball court at Comcast Center will be named in honor of Gary Williams, former head men’s basketball coach.
The dedication will take place in a formal ceremony on Dec. 9, 2011.
The recommendation was made by University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh, and unanimously approved by the university’s Facilities Naming Committee, the Chair of the Alumni Association Board of Governors and Chair of the Board of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. The recommendation was then approved by University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan.
“Gary has been a faithful alumnus, a highly successful and iconic figure in men’s college basketball across the nation, a fierce competitor, and a tireless fundraiser on behalf of student scholarships,” said Loh. “He has been the face of Maryland men’s basketball for more than 22 years. Gary led the Terps out of historic Cole Field House into the Comcast Center. I can think of no better way to recognize his success and his contributions to the University of Maryland than by naming the floor of the basketball court in Comcast Center in his honor.”
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” said Williams, who announced his retirement in May. “It’s important to remember that the success we achieved at Maryland was a team effort and all the coaches, student-athletes and staff who were here are a big part of this. I’m very appreciative of the effort by Kevin Anderson, President Loh, Chancellor Kirwan and everyone else who has been a part of making this happen.”
The naming of the court honors Williams’ prolific 22-year career as head coach of the University of Maryland men’s basketball team. Since he assumed the post of head coach in 1989, he led his alma mater’s basketball program from last place in the ACC to both national and conference success.
As of March 2011, Coach Williams was the fifth winningest active coach in the country and the third winningest coach all-time in the ACC. Williams has amassed an impressive 461-252 record during his time at Maryland and, in 2006, surpassed the legendary Lefty Driesell as Maryland’s winningest coach.
Williams led the Terrapins to 14 NCAA Tournament berths in the last 18 seasons, including seven Sweet 16 appearances, a pair of consecutive Final Four showings and the 2002 National Championship.