- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

As a judge for Utah's Third District Court, Tyrone Medley conducts himself objectively and dispassionately, showing little emotion. While watching Maryland beat Indiana on Monday night, however, Medley found himself as excited as any die-hard Terrapins fan.
"I really was," he said. "And it really surprised me."
If the road to the Final Four and the Terps' first national championship ended in Atlanta, it began for their coach, Gary Williams, more than 30 years ago at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, N.J. After a year as an assistant, Williams was promoted to coach and led the Tigers to a 27-0 record and the 1970 Group4 state title.
Medley, who became the first black judge in Utah, started at guard on that team.
"I'm so happy for Gary winning the national championship," Medley said yesterday from Salt Lake City. "It's well-deserved. He's been very dedicated to the game, and I'm just extraordinarily happy."
So is Derek Brown, Williams' point guard at Wilson. But Brown said he also felt something else.
"Relief," said Brown, the women's basketball coach at Coppin State. "He's been working so long, and I've known him all these years. I'm just very happy for him. I feel like I'm part of the family."
Brown stayed in touch with Williams after high school, through Williams' career as an assistant at Lafayette and coach at American, Boston College, Ohio State and, since 1990, Maryland. Brown said the Gary Williams who celebrated the Terps' victory at the Georgia Dome is a lot like the Gary Williams who celebrated Wilson's win over East Orange at Atlantic City's Convention Hall. Until Monday, that was Williams' only postseason championship.
"These past couple of weeks, I thought he seemed very much at ease with himself and his team," Brown said. "It seems like they were out there enjoying the moment. That's how he was back then. And, being young, there wasn't a lot of pressure on him."
But Medley, who has not had as much contact with Williams, has a different view.
"He's always very enthusiastic and intense," Medley said. "It doesn't seem like he's changed that much, even though everyone says he's mellowed."
Brown and Medley were two of five seniors who started for Wilson during their championship season. Williams got the job when Wilson coach Art DiPatri went to another school, and it didn't hurt that Williams inherited a veteran team.
"We were mature, or as mature as you can be in high school," Medley said. "I don't think he had to yell at us or get on us much at all. His major role was motivating us and directing us and getting us prepared."
DiPatri "laid down the script, and Gary followed the script," Brown said. "He was very much at ease, and there was a lot of playfulness. That's how I know Gary. When there was all this stuff about him, how crazy he was, I couldn't believe it. Yeah, I'd see him go up and down the sidelines, but he was still the same person I knew.
"Gary might rant and rave, but after it's over, he's still a player's coach. They enjoy playing for him. And that's the way we were. If we did something wrong, we let him down."
Williams was 25 when he replaced DiPatri, which wasn't that much older than his players.
"He was only a few years out of college himself, and I think that helped us because we were able to relate to him," Medley said. "That seems to be one positive aspect of who he is as a person and a coach because when I see his current players being interviewed, it's obvious to me that they respect him. There's a real connection there."


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