Coach Gary Williams joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Gary Williams is a Hall of Fame Basketball Coach from the University of Maryland. In 2001, Gary led the University of Maryland to a Final Four appearance, and then in 2002, he led the Terrapins to their first NCAA National Championship. In this conversation, we learn about Gary’s journey, about some of his coaching outside of the basketball world, his mindset, and how he approached basketball as a player and as a coach. You will find out that Gary really values work ethic, hard work, people that would play with effort and intensity, and he coached with a strong intensity as well. In a lot of ways, he helped build a culture of intensity with the University of Maryland’s basketball team.
In this episode, they discuss when basketball first came into his life (4:20), if his family was into sports (7:00), if he ever thought basketball could be his way into college (8:40), the people that most impacted him (11:00), what he liked about basketball (13:00), how difficult experiences impacted who he became (15:50), how he ended up at Maryland (17:00), when the idea of becoming a coach became a reality for him (18:10), why he was so comfortable on a basketball court (20:50), what he loved about the game as a player (21:40), how coaching after college came to be (23:00), what it was like to go from player to coach (24:40), when the college coaching opportunity came up (26:40), what it was like coaching soccer for 6 years (30:00), his biggest takeaway in coaching a sport you’re not an expert on (31:30), what makes a great coach (32:30), how he was able to grow student-athletes (38:20), how he approached coaching soccer vs. basketball (41:00), what is so motivating about winning for him (42:30), how he handled losing (44:15), the routines he used as a player and as a coach (45:30), what preparation for practice looked like for him (47:30), the values he wanted his kids at Maryland to have (48:50), what qualities he looked for in the athletes he recruited (53:40), how he cultivates intensity, and his philosophy on teaching the bench (59:30), his philosophy on the press (1:05:00), what made Steve Blake and Juan Dixon special (1:08:10), when he knew the national championship team was special (1:09:15), how much of success is getting the right people vs. coaching them (1:10:20), what he intentionally did to get his mind right to coach (1:11:00), what makes a great leader (1:14:00), how expectations impact a culture (1:16:10), what he knows now that he didn’t know when he was in coaching (1:18:00), and what it was like to be inducted into the hall of fame (1:19:50)
Thank you to Gary for coming on the podcast. The University of Maryland is a great research university, and nobody should ever doubt how great of a University it is. Gary was always involved in Coaches vs. Cancer (where all of the money raised goes directly to cancer research) and we encourage you to check out this organization.
Thanks for listening.