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"Legend" Gary Williams Retires

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 19: Head coach Gary Williams of the Maryland Terrapins signals during the college basketball game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Dean E. Smith Center on January 19, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Maryland defeated North Carolina 82-80. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    First Jim Larranaga, and now Gary Williams.

    As first reported by FoxSports.com's Jeff Goodman, longtime Maryland coach is retiring after 22 seasons with the Terps.

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    Williams said "it's the right time" for him to step down.

    "My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing," Williams said in a release. "I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here. I couldn’t have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great university. Together, we did something very special here."

    The fifth-winningest active coach in the country, his most notable accomplishment was leading the Terrapins to the national championship in 2002.

    Williams, who turned 66 in March, has been at Maryland since 1989.

    A press conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at Comcast Center, according to NBC Washington's Dan Hellie, and the public is encouraged to attend.

    "Gary Williams is a legend," athletic director Kevin Anderson said. "His accomplishments on the court have earned him a place among the elite in college basketball history. But Gary’s legacy here at Maryland goes far beyond basketball. From his philanthropic efforts to his tireless work with fans and alumni to his impact with our students, Gary has left an indelible mark of excellence on this university."

    Williams began his career in 1978 at American. He coached at Boston College and Ohio State before coming to Maryland.

    His career record is 668-380, including 461-252 at Maryland.

    On Wednesday, sophomore center Jordan Williams announced that he was going to sign with an agent and enter the NBA draft instead of returning for his junior year.

    Williams will stay on with Maryland as assistant athletic director and special assistant to Anderson. He will continue to serve as scholarship campaign co-chair, work with the Terrapin Club to fund-raise for athletics, and serve as an ambassador for the university.

    "Though it will be difficult to imagine men’s basketball at College Park without Gary Williams, we certainly wish him much success in the future," said Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

    Longtime George Mason coach Larranaga recently left the Patriots to become the head coach at the University of Miami.

    Stay with NBCWashington.com for more information.