- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2002

For Maryland basketball fans with a sense of history, a visit to Comcast Center this season could be just as fascinating in the lobby as at courtside especially when the defending national champions are blowing out, say, Wagner or Hampton by 30 points.
That's because curator Jack Zane has put together a sure winner in his Walk of Fame, which makes a trip through Comcast's main lobby a slam dunk in the nostalgia department.
And Zane who has been around Terptown seemingly for a century or so as sports information director, ticket manager or chief memorabilia maven is just getting started.
Right now, the main attractions are a huge collage featuring wood cutouts of notable Maryland athletes in assorted sports and a display featuring photos of the men and women in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame, all 168 of 'em going back to the 19th century. A year or two down the road, there will be various interactive kiosks where fans can view film or tape of great moments in Terrapins history, listen to veteran play-by-play man Johnny Holliday describe many of them and perhaps attack trivia quizzes on Maryland's history.
The Walk of Fame became possible when Maryland's M Club donated $500,000 for the project. It was designed and executed by Murphy-Orr Exhibitions of Forest Park, Ga., which has done similar work for many other schools.
My favorite part right now is the collage of cutouts. There is current Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Lucas, an All-American in tennis and basketball, swinging a racket. Jim Tatum, who coached Maryland's football team during its glory years, shows off the 1953 national championship trophy. Not far enough back for you? Here are the undefeated footballers of 1893, who blitzed six opponents under the firm coaching hand of one Samuel Harding.
Of course, Gary Williams is there, too, cutting down the net after Maryland won the NCAA tournament last spring. So are Ralph Friedgen and his football team, singing the school fight song for fans after one of last season's unexpected 10 triumphs.
Randy White, sporting a pair of indecently expensive shoes, poses with his Outland Trophy as the nation's best lineman of 1974. Boomer Esiason makes ready to hurl one of his southpaw bombs downfield. And, naturally, Tom McMillen and Len Elmore tower together, frozen in time.
There is more, so much more, but I don't want to totally spoil the surprises. Zane has spent 18 months assembling material for the Walk of Fame, with a free hand from athletic director Debbie Yow. The early returns are most favorable.
Oh, yes the photos on display in the Hall of Fame section include one of "John Zane," to use Jack's formal moniker. And you know what? he's entitled.
'Bighouse' marches on
Washington radio talk show pioneer Harold Bell encountered legendary Winston-Salem State basketball coach Clarence "Bighouse" Gaines recently at the school's homecoming football game and reports that one of the winningest college coaches ever is doing just fine, thank you.
Despite his 79 years and a stroke two years ago, Gaines was making the rounds and greeting old friends all weekend. His well-wishers included former Spingarn High School quarterback Don Wills and wide receiver Bell, who constituted a dynamic duo in D.C. scholastic football ranks longer ago than any of us care to admit.
In case it's slipped your mind, Gaines won 828 games over 47 seasons (1947-93) at Winston-Salem, a number exceeded only by Dean Smith (879) and Adolph Rupp (876). He also won a NCAA Division II national title in 1967, with a little help from a guy named Earl "the Pearl" Monroe.
There he goes again
With the basketball season approaching, Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight is working himself into profanely fighting trim, although he might have trouble being as foul-mouthed as Brian Dennehy was while portraying the General in that horrible TV biopic last spring.
Knight served as keynote speaker at a Cleveland State University fund-raiser last week and wasted no time turning the air moderately blue. Grabbing the microphone after the opening prayer, Knight swore, "It beats the [bejabbers] out of me why they didn't ask me to give the invocation."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Brother Bob's salty oration was so rousing that it drew a standing ovation from 600 listeners. Thus rewarded, Knight "playfully" heaved a bent folding chair, saying, "If I was feeling better, I would have hit the wall with it."
For those of us who don't appreciate Knight's temper tantrums, his little joke if that's what it was bordered on the ominous. And wait until the season starts, folks.
Eminently quotable
Deposed New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine, on the club choosing to keep GM Steve Phillips instead of him, according to the Westchester (N.Y.) Journal News: "Nobody in this organization has done more for this community than I have. Steve Phillips has done nothing in the community. I went to a father-son night at his church, and he was late."
New York Giants coach Jim Fassel, on the team's prospects: "If we're going to have a good season, we have to put together more back-to-back wins."


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