Former Maryland coach Gary Williams has been selected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and will be inducted Nov. 23 in Kansas City, Mo., as a prelude to the CBE Classic, which this year includes the Terps.
“That will be really neat because there would be a lot of people going to the games anyway, and a lot of my friends will be at the games,” Williams said Tuesday after the announcement of the induction class.
Williams was among eight selected to a class that also includes former NBA stars Shaquille O'Neal (LSU) and Grant Hill (Duke). The other college coach to be inducted in November is former LSU coach Dale Brown.
“It’s something when you coach, you don’t say, ‘I won that game, that will really help me get toward the Hall of Fame' or anything like that,” said Williams, who learned of the honor about a month ago.
“You coach each game, you try to get the best out of each team, [and] if things happen because of that, that’s great. I got a great deal of satisfaction in coaching that way, in developing gameplans and seeing how good we can be. ... I feel very forturnate to be recognized for something I liked to do.”
Williams coached at Maryland for 22 seasons, leading the Terps to a national championship in 2002 after bringing Maryland to its first Final Four the previous year.
He also served as head coach at American, Boston College and Ohio State and retired in May 2011 with an overall record of 668-380.
Williams is also a finalist for selection in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
This year’s Naismith class will be announced prior to the NCAA championship game on April 7. Among the other nominees are former college coaches Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson.
Williams said he has spoken with a couple of his close friends in the coaching business, includng Hall of Famer Jim Boehein of Syracuse, about the process.
“They can wish you luck, but that’s about all they can do,” Williams said. "I appreciate the process, just me being nominated. If that’s it, that’s great, because that’s [a Hall of Fame for] everybody that’s ever been connected with basketball.”