ACCBasketballBig TenIn MemoriamSoCon

Hall of Fame coach Lefty Driesell has passed away at the age of 92

Hall of Fame coach Lefty Driesell passed away Saturday morning at the age of 92. Driesell is best remembered as the head coach at Maryland (1969-86), where he led the Terps to two ACC titles, eight NCAA Tournaments and the 1972 NIT Championship. He also coached at Davidson (1960-69), James Madison (1988-97) and Georgia State (1997-2003), amassing 786 D-I coaching wins in his career and putting him on select list of head coaches to have taken four different programs to the NCAA Tournament.

Driesell put Maryland basketball on the map, transforming an average program into a perennial ACC contender during his seventeen years at the helm. He is also credited with inventing the concept of “Midnight Madness” before the 1971-72 season, an event that is now a mainstay across all of college basketball.

“Lefty Driesell was a transcendent figure in college basketball and the man who put Maryland basketball on the map,” said Maryland AD Damon Evans said in a statement. “A Hall of Famer, Lefty was an innovator, a man who was ahead of his time from his coaching on the court to his marketing off the court. From starting Midnight Madness to nationally-televised games with sold out Cole Field House crowds, Lefty did it all. He led Maryland to the NIT Championship, eight NCAA Tournaments, multiple ACC Championships and a consistent Top-10 ranking during his tenure, producing tons of NBA players. We are saddened to hear of his passing and send our condolences to his entire family and community of friends. His memory will be forever etched in Maryland basketball history.”

Before Maryland, he made a similar impact at Davidson College in North Carolina. Driesell won five SoCon titles and went to three NCAA Tournaments in his nine years with the Wildcats, whereas the program had no titles or postseason appearances before his arrival.

“Lefty Driesell was a force who propelled Davidson College to national prominence,” said Davidson AD Chris Clunie. “He helped create a golden era of Davidson College basketball, setting the standard for the heights this program could reach then, now and in the future. And he did so with unmatched integrity, charisma and passion.”

Driesell was a winner at every stop and left a lasting impact on the game of basketball at large, earning induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.


credit to Maryland Athletics for the image