On the heels of last season's improbable tournament run late in the season, the University of Maryland announced today that they've agreed to terms on a contract extension that will keep Gary Williams in College Park, Md, through the year 2013. From the press release:
"I'm pleased for Gary that he met the competitive and academic benchmarks of his contract," said [UMD athletics director Debbie] Yow. "The 2009-10 season has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory."
Williams, recently voted onto the board of directors of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, is the winningest coach in Maryland history and enters the season with a 418-229 mark in his previous 20 seasons in College Park.
"I'm looking forward to coaching this team this year," said Williams. "We're all very anxious for the start of the season."
Williams, for his part, was gracious and declined to take credit for his success, adding the following tweet:
So it seems that after a down period last season had his job in jeopardy--a public rift with Yow over the recruitment of Tyreke Evans certainly didn't quell any rumors--it seems Coach Williams will have all the security he wants over the next few years. He's been roundly criticized for poor recruiting over the past few years, so the added security should aid him in convincing players to come to College Park.
Finally, not to quibble with Yow or Williams too much, but what about that "success in the classroom" that Williams mentioned? I believe Yow said he'd met "academic benchmarks," no? We can only wonder: considering Maryland has a 10% graduation rate according to this study, published last year, what were those academic benchmarks?
(For more, go to the NCAA's graduation rates page. Fittingly, it's a broken link.)