Induction `great honor' for Driesell

Former Maryland coach draws warm reception

May 09, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

As Lefty Driesell walked to the stage Friday night in College Park for his induction into the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame, someone in the crowd shouted, "Give the V sign," in reference to one of his Cole Field House trademarks as coach of the Terrapins.

Driesell said after the M Club ceremony: "I should have."

After all, the night truly belonged to Driesell.

He was given two standing ovations by the crowd of 400 who packed their way into the Inn & Conference Center on campus to honor Driesell and five others who were inducted into the Maryland Hall.

Driesell congratulated Gary Williams and the 2001-02 Terps for winning the national championship, mingled with many of his admirers and conducted four television interviews. Each one of the other four inductees - Albert King, Dick Edell, Gene Hiser and Jasmina Perazic -who was present said it was tough to follow his act at the podium. A sixth inductee, Ed Modzelewski, did not attend.

Driesell, who is now the coach at Georgia State, said: "This was a great honor for me. I spent 17 years of my life here and won because I had great players. When somebody asked me why I wasn't inducted sooner, I said, `They wouldn't bring me back until Maryland won the national championship.' "

So now, the final chapter in Driesell's 348-159 Maryland coaching career has been written on a happy note.

His next stop could be the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Driesell, 70, has 782 victories.

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