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NCAA tournament 2010: Williams, Penders to break tie in career coaching wins Friday

Maryland Coach Gary Williams and Houston Coach Tom Penders will enter Friday night's first round NCAA tournament match-up with the same number of career wins, 648, which ranks fifth on the list of active winningest Division I coaches.

"The tie will be broken," said Penders, who has coached at seven different schools over the course of his 36-year career.

"But I've known Gary forever," Penders continued. "And we tied for a long drive contest on the Big Break with Jim Boeheim and I told all three of them that's the first time I had played with a group where I was the youngest guy except for an outing, a charity event for the home for the aged. And we tied with booming 217-yard drives. Boeheim choked and duck hooked. Gary and I are scrappers. That's how we play the game of golf.

"I've known him forever. Super guy, super coach, and I don't compare myself with any other coaches. And we have different styles but we both take great pride in how hard our teams play. And no teams play harder than Gary Williams's teams. I don't know if they (the NCAA tournament selection committee) set it up because of that at all. No idea. Curly-headed guys against curly-headed guys? I don't know."

Williams, when asked to comment on the same subject, said he didn't know the exact number of wins he and Penders had tallied, "but longevity helps in those situations."

"Tom as at George Washington right there in town when I was at Maryland," Williams continued. "We played I think when he was at Texas in the NCAA tournament a while ago; I guess that's about 15 years ago now. So we have kind of followed each other around, and I'm just, I know I feel very fortunate to have stayed in the game and always have a job because you have seen really good coaches along the way that whatever happens, happens, and all of the sudden they're not coaching anymore. So I think I'm proud that I've always been able to be a coach since I've been a head coach."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 19, 2010; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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