COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Ohio State Coach Gary Williams today was named head basketball coach at the University of Maryland, a once-prominent program riddled with turmoil for most of the past three years.
Williams, 43, takes over the Terrapin program after three seasons at Ohio State, where he had a 59-41 record. He replaces Bob Wade, who resigned under pressure May 12 after completing three years of a five-year contract.
This will be Williams' fourth head coaching position in an 11-year career in which he has amassed a 217-128 record. He coached at American University from 1978 to '82 and Boston College from 1982 to '86 before going to Ohio State. He posted a winning record and recorded at least two 20-win seasons at each stop.
Williams, who was a three-year starter on Maryland's basketball team before graduating in 1968, inherits a team that went 9-20 last year, the most losses by a Maryland team since 1940-41, and won only one of 14 Atlantic Coast Conference games.
NCAA Recruiting Probe
Before the 1988-89 season, the Terps lost six players to transfers, academic ineligibility, redshirting or suspension. In March, the program was placed under investigation for NCAA recruiting violations.
The NCAA has yet to make public its findings or whatever penalties Maryland may incur stemming from the investigation.
The Terps had losing records in two of the three seasons since the drug-related death of Len Bias in June, 1986. From 1971 to '86, Maryland posted 10 20-win seasons and two ACC regular-season championships under Coach Lefty Driesell, who resigned under pressure weeks before the 1985-86 season.
Maryland's selection of Williams ended a monthlong search by a six-member search committee that interviewed five candidates for the job last week.
The other four finalists for the position were USC Coach George Raveling, Rutgers Coach Bob Wenzel; North Carolina-Charlotte Coach Jeff Mullins, and Ben Jobe of Southern University.
Mullins withdrew his name from consideration last Friday, and Raveling did the same Sunday.