Head Coach Mark Turgeon: Lefty did a great job establishing a tradition for Maryland basketball. I know our alumni, former players, and our team is excited to have Lefty back on campus. It will be a great day for everyone involved with Maryland basketball.
Former players shared their thoughts on Coach Driesell:
Bob Bodell, Maryland '73: Lefty put Maryland basketball on the map. Where Maryland basketball is today started with Lefty. I was lucky to be one of his first recruits. He created Midnight Madness, won the National Invitational Tournament and had an Elite Wight team ranked in the top Ten all in his first four years. It was exciting to be a Maryland basketball player.
Len Elmore, Maryland '74: Coach is the most significant mentor in basketball and outside of basketball from whom I had the privilege to learn. Coach laid a foundation for my professional sports career. His focus on sports and self improvement are words that have lasted way beyond my playing days.
Tom McMillen, Maryland '74: This is a tremendous and very well-deserved honor. Lefty is an innovator who made significant contributions to the game of college basketball. He is a coaching icon, not only at the University of Maryland but throughout college basketball.
Buck Williams, Maryland '81: Coach had an incredible work ethic and did an outstanding job preparing us for the next phase of our basketball career. He had us playing pro sets and I, along with Albert King, was able to get acclimated to the pro game very quickly. We had incredible practices. They were invaluable and helped us with the finer parts of our game. Coach was very colorful, had a great sense of humor, and was unpretentious. He used humor in practice to keep us focused. When we were playing a rival, he would put quotes on the board from the opposing team to motivate us - he was a great motivator.
I was fortunate to get these shots of Coach Driesell during the ceremony
|Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson greets Coach Driesell|
|Coach Driesell enjoys the framed picture of his accomplishments at Maryland|
|Left to Right: Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, Coach Driesell, his wife Joyce and Tom McMillen|
After the ceremony as I headed back to the media room I encountered Coach Driesell, got his attention, shook his hand and just said thanks to him. I didn't know what to say as I was a little nervous as this happened pretty quick. Afterwards I thought back to the time when I was a kid introduced to Maryland basketball by my Dad in the early '70's and I was back in my bedroom pretending to be Tom McMillen, Len Elmore or Bob Bodell stuffing a nerf ball through the hoop as Maryland beat NC State or UCLA.
Thank you Coach Driesell.