COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland athletics department welcomed back legendary basketball coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell on Saturday as the Terps hosted the Clemson Tigers.
Driesell, who became Maryland’s head coach in 1969, coached the Terrapins for 17 seasons. During his tenure, he won 348 games, including 28 over Duke and North Carolina.
Prior to his arrival, the Terrapins had won only one Atlantic Coast Conference title and made just one NCAA Tournament appearance. Under Driesell’s leadership, the Terrapins won another ACC title and made the NCAA Tournament eight times, inclduing two Elite 8 appearances.
During halftime of Saturday’s game versus Clemson, Driesell was honored at center court and received a standing ovation from the raucous crowd.
“It’s a pleasure to be back here,” said Driesell. “I coached here for 17 years and I always love coming back to UMD. It’s such an honor to be recognized, but it’s also a great honor for my teams and my players.”
Driesell, who coached at Davidson prior to coming to Maryland and went on to stints at James Madison and Georgia State, compiled a 786-394 record in his 40-plus years as a head coach. He was the originator of “Midnight Madness” to open practice at the beginning of the season in 1971.
He is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame.
In addition to Saturday’s halftime ceremony, Maryland will dedicate and unveil a bronze bas-relief of the storied coach on April 16, 2013.