Dickerson returns to Terps as assistant Williams hires former UM player to replace Perry

June 27, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Maryland coach Gary Williams reached into the Terps' alumni network to fill his vacant assistant coaching position yesterday, naming Dave Dickerson to the post.

Dickerson will bring youth -- he's only 29 -- and a solid reputation as a recruiter to the staff. But it is his attachment to Maryland that sets him apart.

"I can sell Maryland with a passion because Maryland is a part of me," said Dickerson, a four-year letterman from 1986 to '89 and team captain as a senior.

Dickerson replaces Art Perry, 49, who was fired last month.

The road back to College Park took him on a winding path. After getting his bachelor's degree in government and politics in 1990, Dickerson spent one year each at Gardner-Webb College and James Madison, then the last four at Radford University.

On May 2, he took an assistant's job at Marshall University under Greg White, but stayed only a month and a half before gaining his "dream" job.

Williams said he's known Dickerson for eight years and watched his gradual progression as a coach and recruiter.

"He's always recruited better players than maybe his situation warranted," Williams said. "And being a Maryland grad certainly comes into play. But the fact he's proven to be a good assistant coach is the most important thing.

"He's got a great presence as a coach. I think he'll be somebody who can relate to the players."

Williams said he received 100 applications for the job, and from that whittled the list to a final five. Dickerson interviewed for the position last week.

He joins a staff that includes Billy Hahn and Jimmy Patsos.

A native of Olar, S.C., Dickerson said he brings an assortment of intangibles to the job.

"I think I have the recruiting aspect," he said, "and just being a role model with the players. The players can see me as being one of them. I think I can help in the community and the Maryland basketball family that we have out there.

"I'm very excited. Coaching at Maryland has been a dream of mine since I left, since I got into the coaching profession. I'm very thankful that Coach Williams gave me this opportunity."

Dickerson will begin working in the basketball office immediately, and go on the road when the recruiting period starts July 7. He said he hadn't yet settled in at Marshall.

"I have bittersweet feelings about leaving Marshall, but Greg White supported me 100 percent and that really meant a great deal to me," Dickerson said. "He understood the nature of this move."

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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