Contentious, if not unprofessionally stand-offish, is probably the best way to describe the relationship between Gary Williams and recently departed Athletic Director Debbie Yow. A simple google search yields example after example after example of the two butting heads throughout their shared tenure at the University. There will be no exchanging of Christmas cards is what I'm trying to say.
But we might not know exactly how much of a hindrance Yow was to Williams, until we see how he performs in her absence. According to Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports, it's an opportunity Gary is pretty excited about.
To say Williams and Yow didn’t get along is a vast understatement.
There was no love lost.
Now Yow’s departure may have literally added five years onto Williams’ career. I’ve been told by numerous sources that’s what Williams is telling those close to him.
Fist Pumps all around!
My immediate response as a Maryland alumnus and basketball fan, is "Five more years of Gary? The guy who keeps losing the area's biggest recruits to out of state schools? Awesome..." (That's a sarcastic ellipse, by the way) But the optimist in me thinks that Gary, equiped with a new sense of purpose, might be able to do a better job in recruiting the DMV's top talent. Goodman echoes that sentiment.
Williams was as active in the July recruiting period as I’ve seen him in years – and much of it could be attributed to the loss of Yow.
Well that sounds promising. Gary has always been able to get the most out of the players he brings into the program. If he can be more active and just flat out better in his recruiting, he'll have a more talented squad to start with and five more years of Gary could actually be a good thing.
But I have to ask, what could have possibly gone on between him and Yow that prevented him from being an agressive recruiter? Was she actively preventing him from hitting the recruiting trail? Or was she just sucking the life out of him so much so that he was left too lethargic and apathetic to do his best. I expect (or just hope) we'll learn some of the gory details in the coming weeks and months. Either way, a re-energized Gary can only be a good thing for the program.
It's worth pointing out that this is in some way unfair to Yow, who is no longer here to tell her side of the story. But if in her absence, Gary can breathe new life into the basketball program, and if Ralph Friedgen can turn the football program around, their issues with Yow will seem justified.