The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Maryland

The Confidential has been having some fun with league-wide coaches Mount Rushmores.  Football and Basketball, plus polls for each of football and basketball to share your thoughts.  In fact, it was so sufficiently fun and controversial that we are going to do school-wide Mount Rushmores now.  And we will only put three people on the list, leaving you–our readers–to comment as to who should be the fourth.  We will not do polls anymore.  For today, let’s go with the school that has one foot out the door… Maryland.

As an initial matter, these school-wide Mount Rushmores are limited to sports only–players and coaches.  That being said, athletes that have gone on to have careers that have furthered their legend are rewarded also.   And negative publicity will also be factored in.  We do not believe that USC would put OJ Simpson on its Mount Rushmore.  It is what it is.  Admittedly, there will be a recency bias too.  While historical accomplishments are typically quite impressive, coaching college football (as an example) in 1955 was a lot different than coaching today, where coaches rarely get 5 years to make their mark anymore.  Similarly, in an era of up to 14 college football games or 40 college basketball games, as well as daunting pressure from the fans and media, today’s game is more challenging.  That’s our opinion and we are sticking to it.

The Confidential gives the first spot to Gary Williams.  Williams not only played for Maryland, he later came back to coach Maryland–winning the national title in 2002.  You may not know this, but Williams was elected to the Maryland Hall of Fame in 1999–before winning the national title and three years before Lefty Driesell.  While Driesell had an impressive career, we give the nod to Williams.

The next spot goes to Boomer Esiason.  As this author remembers Esiason’s college career, it was impressive enough.  He then made Terrapins’ fans proud by having a successful NFL career, leading the Cincinnati Bengals (hardly an NFL powerhouse) to a Super Bowl berth and a few Pro Bowls.  He has also had a successful post-football career, including color commentary for the NFL’s Monday Night Game of the Week for a few years.  And he has furthered his reputation with the Boomer Esiason Foundation was created to fund research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.  He has represented Maryland well for many years now.

The third spot is an easy one, and perhaps should have been the first one, Curley Byrd.  Byrd came long before the Confidential’s time, admittedly.  So this took some Internet research.  But it is hard to argue with the selection of someone elected to the very first class of the Maryland Hall of Fame and who has this career arc (courtesy of Wikipedia) for Maryland:

  • 1905-1907.  Quarterback, pitcher, and ran a 10.0 100-yard dash.
  • 1911-1934.  Football coach.
  • 1913-1923.  Baseball coach.
  • 1915-1935.  Athletic Director.
  • 1918-1932.  Assistant President
  • 1932-1936.  Vice President.
  • 1936-1954.  President.

So, that’s all.  Just the better part of a half-century leading Maryland in one way or another.  Lest there be any doubt, Maryland’s football stadium is named after him!.

And that leads us to the number four spot.  We’ll update this post in one week, once we get sufficient comments to determine who gets this fourth spot.  Here are some names that you might want to consider: Jim Tatum, Len Elmore, Albert King, John Lucas, and Walt Williams.  But we will put this in your hands.

Who will be the Confidential’s fourth Maryland Terrapin in its Mount Rushmore?


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44 thoughts on “The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Maryland

  1. I nominate Lefty Driesell as coach and Len Bias as player.

  2. M. Caffrey on said:

    I realize that Lacrosse doesn’t really move the needle too much, but Maryland had a legendary Head Coach and former player, Jack Faber (he was also an assistant football coach under Curley Byrd). Faber (and co-head coach Al Heagey) won 9 ACC titles and 8 National Championships between 1928 and 1961.

    If you do a Mount Rushless (the opposite of Rushmore, natch) I nominate: Randy Edsal, Ralph Friedgen, Bob Wade, and Kevin Plank (Under Armour CEO) for giving the world those terribly ugly unis.

    • Patrick on said:

      Your vote is immediately null and void because of the comment about our uniforms…Have some PRIDE!

  3. zzzzzzzzzzzzz on said:

    Juan Dixon. The best basketball player maryland has had in terms of accomplishments

  4. Jake Nazar on said:

    Man the last choice is tough. For me it’s between Len Bias, Juan Dixon, Frank Urso, Jack Faber, Sascho Cirovski, Jerry Claiborne, or Jim Tatum. There’s not enough Lax so I’ll say Frank Urso.

    • Thought about Sascho too.

    • No Brenda Frese? Some here don’t want to admit it, but women’s basketball is a bigger sport than men’s lacrosse.

      • Jake Nazar on said:

        Yeah, I could definitely include Brenda Frese there as well. Also though, the Maryland Men’s Lax program is bigger in their sport than the Maryland Women’s Basketball program is in their’s.

        • However, basketball is easily the most nationally high-profile women’s sport. Southern Cal or UCLA may have won plenty of titles in water polo (men’s or women’s), but that’s as much a regional sport as lacrosse.

  5. Dave Smith on said:

    Len Elmore is probably my choice.

  6. Patrick on said:

    Bias…as a player, and for what his death meant to sports and drug awareness

  7. Juan freakin Dixon! Has to be in my opinion. The best player on the only two final four teams in our school’s history.

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  9. If it’s strictly coaches, then it’s Jim Tatum, Gary Williams, Brenda Frese and Sasho Civorski. All four have won national titles, and while men’s soccer doesn’t quite have the high profile of football, men’s basketball or even women’s basketball, Sasho has won two NCAA tourneys in a nationally competitive sport (as opposed to men’s or women’s lacrosse or field hockey, all of which are regional).

    Players-only? Then it’s Jack Scarbath (second in Heisman voting in 1952, sparkplug of the unbeaten ’51 team, longtime member of the university Board of Regents), Juan Dixon (as obvious as Thompson for NCSU or Jordan for UNC), Kristi Toliver (“the shot” in the NCAA finals in 2006) and Frank Urso (to give lacrosse its due).

  10. I don’t care if it’s a regional sport and I don’t care that it’s a women’s sport. Cindy Timchal (WLAX head coach). Beginning in 1995 Maryland won 7, count ’em, 7 consecutive NCAA championships. This included a 50 game winning streak, 4 undefeated seasons, and an overall record of 140-5. That’s a 96.5% winning percentage for SEVEN years!

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  13. David on said:

    Skeets Nehemiah should also be in the running.

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  16. Jarrett on said:

    Walt Williams, had he not stayed and kept Maryland on the map, we likely never see that national title in 02. It would have been very thin times in the 90’s for sure when we were coming off probation.

  17. 8istheman on said:

    Randy Freaking White should be on the list.

  18. 1) Jim Tatum – Best football coach Maryland ever had, sadly left too early.

    2) Gary Williams – Best basketball coach

    3) Randy White

    4) Juan Dixon

    5) Bobby Ross/Jerry Claiborne – Hard to argue with either coach with 3 ACC football titles.

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  21. Mark Roulley on said:

    Jerry Claiborne or Bobby Ross maybe? Both of them had Maryland in the top 10 on a regular basis and had a much longer association with the school than any player..

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