Comcast Floor to be Named in Honor of Gary Williams
Dedication will take place in December
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – 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 December 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,
§ Williams 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.
§ In 2010, Williams was named the ACC Coach of the Year, and Maryland shared the 2010 ACC Championship. In addition, Williams has received numerous honors and awards, including being inducted into the University’s Alumni Hall of Fame, Greater Washington Sports Hall of Champions and the Baltimore Sports Legends Museum Hall of Legends.
In his 22 years of service both on and off the court, Williams has embodied the Terrapin spirit of “giving back.”
§ As a scholarship co-chair for the University’s Great Expectations: The Campaign for Maryland, Williams has traveled across the country to raise money for student scholarships at a time when the need for scholarship funding has been particularly great.
§ He is a generous donor to the University of Maryland himself. Williams also supports numerous charities in the community and throughout the state.
§ He is also a leader in the nationwide Coaches vs. Cancer initiative and serves as member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council.
“Gary is a respected alumnus, coach and leader in the college basketball community nationally,” said director of athletics Kevin Anderson. “His student-athletes are tremendously loyal, which speaks of Gary’s care and support of those on his teams. One of the fiercest competitors to have coached, Gary has always felt a similar passion for his alma mater.”
“Gary started his career as a high school teacher. It’s fitting that we honor him with the naming of the Comcast Center court – a place where he achieved unparalleled success in his own classroom.”
– Terps –