- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2003

The Lefthander came back last night, and for an emotional five minutes it was like he had never left.
Movingly, if somewhat belatedly, the University of Maryland honored long-time men's basketball coach Lefty Driesell in halftime ceremonies during the Terrapins' game against N.C. State at Comcast Center.
When Driesell strode onto the court, flashing his trademark "V" for victory signal, 17,950 spectators rose to offer a standing ovation to the man who elevated Maryland's basketball program to glory in the 1970s and '80s.
Len Elmore, an All-American center on the Terrapins' outstanding teams of the early '70s, presented his old coach with a commemorative basketball citing his 348 victories in 17 seasons at Maryland (1969 to 1986) and his total of 786 fourth on the all-time list with Davidson, Maryland, James Madison and Georgia State. Elmore also presented a statement by Rep. Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, that will be inserted into the Congressional Record.
In a news conference after the ceremony, Driesell said he was "honored to be here" and described himself as "humbled and elated" by the reception from fans and students.
The tribute came less than a month after Driesell retired from Georgia State, ending a college coaching career that began in 1961. In a way it was a makeup call by Maryland, which did not invite him to participate in ceremonies during the final game at Cole Field House last March.
Driesell and his family watched the game from athletic director Debbie Yow's luxury box after a reception attended by friends and former associates.
The evening was a marked tribute to Driesell's last appearance on a College Park court. His previous one came when he announced his retirement at Cole in 1986, several months after the cocaine-related death of All-American Len Bias. A subsequent investigation uncovered evidence of drug use and academic failings in the basketball program, but many observers felt Driesell was made something of a scapegoat. After two years as an associate AD, he returned to coaching with James Madison.
Driesell was accompanied last night by his wife, Joyce, son Chuck, daughter Carolyn, assorted grandchildren and former AD Jim Kehoe, who brought him to Maryland in 1969.
The halftime ceremonies began with a 90-second tribute on Comcast's video boards narrated by Terps broadcaster Johnny Holliday and ended by the pep band playing and fans singing "Amen," which heralded Maryland victories during his tenure in College Park.
Another eyewitness was Red Auerbach, an old friend who coached the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships and held the league record for victories until Lenny Wilkens broke it several years ago.
Though Driesell never reached the Final Four, he took all four of his schools to the NCAA tournament, constructing strong programs where none had existed.

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