To UM, Williams is one in a million


COLLEGE PARK - University of Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams got the pay raise he anticipated yesterday, when he signed a seven-year contract that sources said will guarantee him about $1 million a season plus incentives.

Williams, who completed his 12th season at Maryland by guiding the Terrapins to their first Final Four appearance in school history, had signed a 10-year deal in 1998, worth about $675,000 a year guaranteed.

Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow and Donald McCartney, Williams' representative, had been renegotiating the terms of the deal since last month.

"I've made it known that I like this area and that I like this job. I'm very happy with [the contract]," said Williams, a 1968 Maryland graduate who strongly denied rumors two months ago that he was considering a job offer from Nevada-Las Vegas.

"I intend to finish my coaching career at the University of Maryland, and this contract allows me to do that. Since I have been the head coach at Maryland, I have never pursued another coaching job. Not everyone has the privilege of coaching at their alma mater. We're not satisfied about where we are. I'm excited about next year already."

The compensation for Williams, 56, includes a base salary that makes up about 20 percent of his overall guaranteed package. He will earn $189,154 in base salary next season and $199,600 the following season.

The rest of his guaranteed income will come from apparel endorsement deals, radio and television appearances, a car stipend and an annual annuity investment of $50,000, which will be paid out by the university at the end of his employment.

In addition, sources said Williams could earn up to another $400,000 annually in incentives. His bonuses will be based on the competitive and academic achievements of the basketball program.

Williams also takes in additional income from his summer basketball camps, which could generate $250,000 this year. Sources said Williams' contract ranks him among the highest-paid coaches who have never won a national title. That includes Florida's Billy Donovan and Iowa State's Larry Eustachy, who are paid about $1 million in annual guarantees.

"The university has very fairly rewarded Gary for the contributions he has made," said McCartney, who has negotiated all five of Williams' deals since he left Ohio State for College Park in 1989. "When two parties go into it with a positive attitude, you have a good chance to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both. They recognized his value."

Under Williams, the Terps have made the NCAA tournament for eight consecutive years and have made the Sweet 16 five times over that stretch. Last season, Maryland sputtered in midseason, losing five of six games and falling to a 15-9 record. The Terps recovered to win 10 of their last 12 games, losing both times to Duke. Maryland beat No. 1 seed Stanford to win its first NCAA regional title.

Williams also has coached at American, Boston College and Ohio State during a 23-year career, during which his teams have made 11 NCAA tournaments. He has a record of 242-139 at Maryland. The Terps won 78 games over the past three years, and should be ranked in the top five coming into next season.

In the fall of 2002, the Terps will begin playing in a new on-campus arena, the Comcast Center.

"We appreciate what Coach Williams has accomplished and the level to which he has brought the program," Yow said. "We've been a top-15 team year in and year out, and we believe we will consistently be at that level."

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