The Washington Times - October 13, 2008, 02:51PM

Earlier this afternoon, I mentioned Ralph Friedgen is the ACC’s third-longest tenured coach (behind Bobby Bowden and Frank Beamer). It so happens it’s the first time a Maryland coach has ranked in the top three in seniority in football since 1981.

But how about basketball?

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Good question, and one with an obvious answer whenever two coaches have hung around for nearly two decades.

Lefty Driesell rose to No. 3 in tenure (behind Dean Smith and Norm Sloan) when Virginia replaced Bill Gibson with Terry Holland before the 1974-75 season. Driesell remained on the job for 12 years before resigning in the wake of Len Bias‘ death in 1986.

Gary Williams was a late hire in 1989 (presumably, as a June hire, later than Dave Odom). He became the ACC’s No. 3-tenured basketball coach when Bobby Cremins left Georgia Tech in 2000, then moved up to No. 2 when Odom departed Wake Forest a year later.

Williams, who is entering his ninth season on this list, of course trails only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski among current ACC coaches.

So since the 1982-83 school year, Maryland’s basketball coaches have spent 12 (soon to be 13) years on the upper-echelon seniority list in the league, while its football coaches will account for a half-season by the time the fall is complete.

Patrick Stevens