BSR Exclusive: Interview with Johnny Holliday About Gary Williams Departure
I recently sat down with “the voice” of The University of Maryland, Johnny Holliday, to discuss all of the national headlines that are taking place with the school’s basketball program. Being a former top 40 radio discjockey, television personality, musical actor, olympic broadcaster, and current baseball host on MASN, Johnny has been inducted in multiple prestigious Hall of Fames including the Radio-Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in October 2003. He has been the voice of Maryland’s football and basketball teams since 1979. There is nobody else who can give better insight on the current Terrapins situation, and we were honored that Mr. Holliday sat down to give BSR these thoughts.
Q: How do you feel about the situation with Gary Williams and his retirement?
JH: Completely shocked, caught off guard like everyone else was. I don’t think anybody saw this coming this early. I knew that he had been thinking about it coming to an end in the next couple of years, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming. But boy what a great situation to be in where he walks away on his own terms and stays with the university, staying in the athletic department as an Assistant AD, and being a right hand man for Kevin Anderson the Athletic Director. It’s going to be tough to fill those shoes, really tough to fill those shoes.
Q: Who do you think are the incoming candidates?
JH: You know there are so many people that would be available for this job, contracts or no contracts, contracts are made to be broken. Certainly you hear Mike Brey’s name, you hear Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh, Rick Barnes at Texas, you hear all sorts of people, and its a plum job. Sean Miller at Arizona got himself a nice new contract, and then they got word that he was the number one candidate for this job. But i think they wanna make sure that this is the right guy. And I think Gary wants him to be a coach that will have the same focus, the same goals, the same obligations to do it the right way that he did. But if I’m a coach around the country and something opens up at Maryland, in the ACC, in one of the greatest areas, Baltimore/Washington, in the country, I gotta think real strongly about taking this job. And I know they gotta move quickly because basketball today is a 12 month a year job. It’s not just during basketball season over the winter months. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens these next couple of days.
Q: How do you feel about Jordan Williams and his departure?
JH: I wish him well, but i don’t think he is ready to go at this time. I think one more year would have helped him tremendously. He doesn’t have a square up jump shot, a face up shot to the basket, he’s not a very good free throw shooter, rebounding yes, scoring in the put backs yes, very powerful guy, but I think he still has an awful lot to learn. But I think the problem here is so many people have got the ears of these guys and they tell them what they want to hear and some of these AAU guys are blowing smoke in his face, and i just hope it works out especially if there’s a strike. Then you gotta compete with all the other guys for spots on teams overseas. So one more year I think would have helped him. Certainly the program would have been better if he would have came back. It’s going to be a little more difficult, Berend Weljs will get some time at the center position, they may bring in one other kid to see if he can play, but they’re gonna be okay. He’s got a lot of guys coming back and i think with the one year under their belt, they’re gonna be a lot better, and its gonna be okay without him. It would have been a lot easier had he come back.