Gary Williams has already started his post-coaching media career, through regular appearances on the Big 10 Network, but D.C. sports fans might not always tune in for his opinions about Iowa. Now, however, Williams has a regular gig doing D.C. sports media: as the college basketball insider for ESPN 980.
Washington’s longest running sports-talk station will announce on Tuesday that Williams will appear twice a week through the conclusion of the college basketball season: Tuesdays at 12:15 on The Sports Fix and Fridays with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban on the Sports Reporters. Once a month, starting this Friday, Williams will be in studio with the Reporters for two hours, from 5-7.
(Czaban and Pollin actually announced this news on-air Friday, and the network has already started running ads about Williams, but the formal announcement is going out on Tuesday.)
Williams has an exclusive deal with ESPN 980 until the Tuesday after the national championship game, which means he can’t appear on the four-person morning show of any rival station, if you know what I mean.
“It’s a natural fit,” 980’s director of programming Chuck Sapienza told me. “We’ve always gotten along with Gary, and it was one of those things where I threw it out there to one of his reps, and his rep liked the concept and idea and we were able to get it done. We couldn’t be more excited having him exclusively with us.”
The station, of course, broadcasts Maryland games, but Williams is being advertised as the college basketball insider, not the Maryland basketball insider. His tenure will also overlap with the departure of longtime host John Thompson, whose show is ending in the next few weeks, although Thompson will continue to call into the station. The station also regularly features Maryland analyst and former college coach Chris Knoche, and Sapienza in the release refers to his station’s “dominance in the area of college basketball coverage.”
“ESPN 980 has always been a huge supporter of mine,” Williams said in the release. “I’m very excited to be joining their team this year.”