As his inductions into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame draw nearer, the announcements and thrills still fresh, legendary Maryland coach Gary Williams was featured in the latest video spotlight from the athletics department, talking with Johnny Holliday about his career and the honors that have followed.
“Yeah,” Williams deadpanned at the start. “Just another couple weeks.”
There’s some wonderful old footage of Williams coaching, behind-the-scenes details on his Naismith election — “They called at 12:01. I was scared when that phone rang” — and Williams’ thoughts on the Big Ten move.
“The shock was for everybody,” Williams said. “The ACC has changed. There’s now six or seven Big East teams in the ACC. So we’re not leaving the ACC that we probably knew and remembered the best. In other words, the memories of that…nobody can ever take away your memories. You can change leagues but I remember playing in the ACC, I remember coaching in the ACC. All the games you’ve done in the ACC. They’re special. You’ve probably seen every great player play in the ACC. So now here we go to the Big Ten. What’s that mean?
“Well, it’s a great opportunity for the university of Maryland. Not just financially but to be in a league where you look at the major state universities, just like we are in the Big Ten, you look at the tradition they have…I mean those people, I coached at Ohio State. If you live in the state of Ohio, it doesn’t matter where you went to college. You root for the Buckeyes when they play. And we need that here at Maryland. This is a great opportunity to get the whole state behind the program. And that’s the way I look at it.”
He will be enshrined in Springfield, Mass. on Aug. 8 and in Kansas City for the Collegiate Hall of Fame on Nov.23.