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Posted at 11:28 AM ET, 12/21/2010

When Ralph Friedgen had a drink with Gary Williams

By Dan Steinberg

Since this seems to be the season to write long, emotional blog posts about departing sports figures, let me direct you to Kevin Van Valkenburg's top-notch farewell to Ralph Friedgen for the Baltimore Sun. It's really, really great.

I'll skip the greatest parts -- which provide insight into Friedgen's character and personality -- and instead focus on something more trivial, because it makes for a great borrowed blog post. It comes from a road trip the writer took with the coach five or six years ago, which included a shared drink at a bar.

He told me another story about a time he felt basketball coach Gary Williams tried to embarrass him in a talk he gave in front of some prominent boosters. One of Friedgen's graduate assistants had recently been arrested for DWI, and Friedgen, even though he liked the coach, decided he had no choice but to fire him. When Williams made it a point to mention to boosters than none of his staff had been in trouble, Friedgen read it as a direct shot at him. Later, Friedgen said he and Williams had a drink together, and the football coach leaned in and told the basketball coach if he ever did something like that again, they'd have to go out back and settle it like men. Williams simply nodded. As far as I know, they got along fine after that.

That is definitely the opening scene if anyone ever pens a screenplay of the Debbie Yow Era

By Dan Steinberg  | December 21, 2010; 11:28 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball, College Football, Terps  
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Next: D.C.'s longest tenured athletes take another hit


Very interesting, hope it's not fabricated.

Posted by: gmac78 | December 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

All Gary'd need to subdue a man of Friedgen's build is a swift sweep of the ankles.

Posted by: scrappledog | December 21, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

As an alumnus of the University of Oregon, I can relate to what Maryland is going through. When I was at UO 20 years ago, we had one of the worst football teams in the nation, and both UO and OSU seriously considered dropping out of the Pac-10 and down to a lower division because of a consistent inability to compete with the more lavishly funded California schools.

It took two decades of consistent coaching and leadership for UO to make it to the top of the mountain, as well as lavish sponsorship from "sugar daddy" alum Phil Knight of Nike. The same is going to be true for Maryland, though UM does have an advantage over UO in having a very rich recruiting base right in its backyard.

I would warn UM alums that football prominence comes with a price. Oregon now has a first-rate football team, but also the jailbird players, cutthroat marketing and corporate douchbaggery that comes along with it. It's no longer the quaint little program that we could all get warm-hearted about. Making a college champion is not a pretty thing. Prominent UM alums might ask themselves if that's really what they want for their alma mater.

Posted by: acoberst1 | December 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

If true, it's astounding that Gary would take such a cheap shot against Ralph's assistant coach in light of Gary's May 1990 incident involving DUI charges in Montgomery County, MD.

Posted by: johnsw2000 | December 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I thought Gary got popped coming back from Ford's Colony in Billsburg - "golfing" - hence the current sponsorship in Comcast...

I think Gary may have whipped his ass -- as long as kept the fight off the floor - do not wrestle with ex o lineman.

Posted by: reindeerterp | December 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@scrappledog: Sweep the there a problem, Mr. Lawrence?

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | December 21, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Gary Williams havibg a drink?!! He drinks more than the students and hits on more of the coeds that any 20 year old. That is , when he is not berating someome in the office.

This all true and the writers in town cover for him.

Posted by: bal503 | December 21, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

the writers dont have to 'cover' for gary. everyone knows he likes his women young and fast and his drinks stiff.

gary would have whooped the fridge.

Posted by: marylandmymaryland | December 21, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I always suspected Williams was a creep. Glad Freidgen called him out...and of course he backed down.

Posted by: dbunkr | December 21, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Fridge would have whipped Gary's butt. What is Gary, like 5-feet-8 and 165 pounds? Gary bought a former coed a boob job. That's all you need to know about him and his character.

Posted by: djdavew2002 | December 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Gary will be next to go,,,soon! It would be great to have someone that can recruit some of the greats from the MD/VA/DC area. No kid wants to play for an alcoholic, ranting, psycho on the sidelines...days of guys like Bobby Knight and Gary are coming to an end, thankfully!

Posted by: cm88 | December 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

all you gary haters are retarded. Anybody would feel privileged to be coached by him.

Posted by: bbachrac | December 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Gary will be next to go,,,soon! It would be great to have someone that can recruit some of the greats from the MD/VA/DC area. No kid wants to play for [him]

Posted by: cm88 | December 21, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This cm88 guy is a Duke fan people. He has also made these kinds of looney comments before on the Terps Insider board as well. What else do you expect from a Duke fan posting comments on a MD blog?

The fact is, in the last decade Gary has had top 25 recruiting classes each and every year in which his classes were more than 1 player, including two top 5 classes. And though Gary certainly has a very impressive track record getting talent out of the Maryland/DC/VA area, who really cares where the recruits come from. I suppose Gary shouldn't have recruited Jordan Williams, since he's from Connecticut. He shouldn't have recruited guys like DJ Strawberry or Chris Wilcox because those guys didn't play high school ball here?

The only people who care about where the recruits come from are 'Recruiting Geeks'. These are the people that think if you are a McDonalds All American in high school, you are guaranteed success in college. They ignore Maryland's track record with All Americans like Travis Garrison, Danny Miller, Mike Jones, Ekene Ibekwe--all of whom were disappointments at MD--because that track record doesn't fit with their preconceived notions. These people also believe if you weren't highly recruited in high school, you aren't going to be a good player in college. Of course, this means they also ignore Gary's track record with guys like Juan Dixon, Joe Smith, Lonnie Baxter, Jordan Williams--all of whom weren't top flight recruits but all of whom became All ACC/All American studs at MD.

Duke fans like cm88 who come on to MD blogs don't really think things through when they post their baseless attacks on Gary and the Terps.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Fargo1 back to his typical internet bullying.

Keep it up copy/paste, keep it up.

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 21, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Another good Gary is a creep and bore story. Can't wait until Anderson shows him the door

Posted by: restonhoops | December 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Another good Gary is a creep and bore story. Can't wait until Anderson shows him the door

Posted by: restonhoops | December 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Gary is a great coach and his players love him and he brought a national championship.

Fridge is a great coach and he brought an Orange Bowl and would have brought more.

No need to put them in unitards and a mud pit and speculate who would win. Rise above that.

Byrd Stadium needs a real make-over including some real sky boxes and the football program needs the respect and marketing support that they provide over at class programs like, say, Penn State or Michigan or Boise State.

Posted by: jsandri9104 | December 23, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

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