C. Driesell Is Hired As Maryland Assistant
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams filled out his staff yesterday by formally announcing the addition of assistant Chuck Driesell, whose arrival reconnects the program to its past.
Twenty years after Lefty Driesell last roamed the sideline as Maryland's head coach, his 43-year-old son was introduced during a morning news conference at Byrd Stadium that drew a considerable amount of media attention. Williams does not usually call news conferences when he adds assistants, but Chuck Driesell is not a typical addition.
He was a waterboy and ballboy at Maryland before he was a player on the team that won the school's first ACC tournament title in 1984. He also is the son of the man who won 348 games in College Park between 1969 and 1986, before resigning in the months following the cocaine-induced death of Len Bias.
"The feeling I have today is indescribable," said Driesell, who stepped down from his job as head coach at Bishop Ireton after two years. "To be a part of [Williams's] staff, to come back to my school where I went to school, to be a part of a program that has won a national championship, that doesn't happen too often in my profession. This is a dream come true for me."
The hiring thrilled Lefty Driesell, who said via telephone, "I have not had much of a chance to go to Maryland, but now I have a good reason to go." Driesell said he only attended a couple Maryland games the last few years, but he planned on attending several home and away games next season.
There have been other recent indications of a strong relationship between Williams and Lefty Driesell. During a social gathering last summer, Driesell said, Williams invited him to some Maryland practices. And this season Williams was effusive in praising Driesell as he approached Driesell's record for most victories in school history.
But Driesell said he purposely did not talk to Williams about hiring his son; he planned to call him yesterday. Williams also emphasized that Chuck Driesell was hired for his merits, not merely his surname.
"Lefty is a Hall of Fame coach, one of the legends of the game," Williams said. "But because of all those things, that doesn't mean I would hire Chuck Driesell. Chuck was hired based on what he was as a basketball coach. Naturally genes don't hurt, but I wouldn't hire someone just because he is someone's son if I didn't think he was a very good basketball coach."
Williams strongly considered Chuck Driesell last spring for two assistant openings, which were filled by current assistant Michael Adams and Rob Moxley, who left after one season to return to his former school, Charlotte, as associate head coach.
Driesell is the fifth assistant Williams has hired in the past two years.
Dave Dickerson (Tulane), Mike Lonergan (Vermont) and Jimmy Patsos (Loyola) took Division I head jobs; Matt Kovarik returned to law school; and Moxley essentially has been promised the head coaching job at Charlotte once Coach Bobby Lutz assumes a new job or position within two years, a source said.
Williams's current staff now includes Keith Booth and Driesell, both of whom played for Maryland, and Adams, who starred for Williams at Boston College.
There is no No. 1 assistant, Williams said, adding, "It's a staff."