Maryland notebook: Gary Williams receiving $400,000 salary

Athletic department sees former men's basketball coach as key to working with donors

August 23, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — In the months since his retirement, former Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams has been deployed by the university as a fundraiser and high-level salesman.

For his work — and perhaps also in deference to his 22 years of service — Williams is being well compensated. Three sources familiar with his deal have said in recent weeks that Williams is earning an annual salary of $400,000.

Maryland isn't apologizing for the longtime coach's contract.

The athletic department — which must weather the sour economy as it pays off the debt required to modernize Byrd Stadium's Tyser Tower — is eager for new donors and increased revenue.

Department officials have variously called Williams an "ambassador" and "high-level closer" when it comes to working with prospective big donors.

There are efforts under way to name the Comcast Center basketball court after Williams. But those efforts have not been finalized.

Terps still pursuing sellout

With less than two weeks remaining before its opening-night football game against Miami, Maryland is about 8,000 people away from selling out Byrd Stadium.

The school is eager to sell out the 54,000-seat stadium to make a statement on national television during Randy Edsall's first game as Maryland coach.

The game is Miami coach Al Golden's first regular-season contest with the Hurricanes. It's also the first game since Yahoo Sports reported that a former Miami booster provided impermissible benefits to current and former athletes.

Maryland, which has seen football season-ticket sales steadily decline in recent years, said Tuesday that it has sold about 20,000 season tickets — 1,000 ahead of the pace from a year ago.

Possible earthquake damage

Maryland said its baseball stadium press box might have been damaged by Tuesday's earthquake.

There appeared to be some shifting in the brick press box/concourse area, which was closed after the quake. It was marked off with yellow tape Tuesday afternoon.

The school said a structural engineer was examining the building.

Maryland said Byrd Stadium was also being examined but that no damage was evident.

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