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?
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