Former Terps basketball coach Millikan 'was a fine teacher'

COLLEGE PARK — Bud Millikan, the former University of Maryland men's basketball coach whose players included current Terps head coach Gary Williams and assistant coach Joe Harrington, has died, the school said Thursday. He was 89.

Millikan, who had retired to the Stone Mountain, Ga., area, coached Maryland from 1950 to 1967, compiling a 243-182 (.572) record. He was a disciplinarian who taught an aggressive man-to-man defense of the sort that Williams favors today.

"Bud was a perfectionist," Williams said in an interview Thursday night. "He believed the game should be played a certain way. Bud had played for [the late Oklahoma State coach] Hank Iba, who gets credit for team man-to-man defense and offside help. If you wanted to be a coach, he was a great person to play for."

Other Millikan players who became coaches include Billy Jones (UMBC), Terry Truax (Towson State), Billy Franklin (Bowie High), and Harrington (Hofstra, George Mason, Long Beach State, Colorado), now a Williams assistant.

"I think one of the reasons Gary has been so successful was Coach Millikan," Harrington said. "The offense Gary and I ran under Coach Millikan is the same offense we run at Maryland. He learned it from Coach Millikan."

The "flex" offense features post players and screens, and works best when players can play interchangeable positions.

Williams was a point guard for Millikan from 1964 to 1967.

Harrington said of Millikan: "He would have loved coaching a guy like [Terrapins guard] Greivis Vasquez. He liked that tough-nosed, man-to-man defense."

The Terps advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight and won the Atlantic Coast Conference title under Millikan in 1958.

"He was a fine teacher. That was his forte," said Frank Fellows, who succeeded Millikan as Maryland coach.

Millikan is survived by his wife, Maxine, according to Williams. He also has a son and a daughter. The school did not provide other details. Members of Millikan's family could not be reached.