Hall of Fame college basketball coach Lefty Driesell dies at 92


Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Hall of Fame men's college basketball coach Charles "Lefty" Driesell, best known for his long and colorful run at the University of Maryland, has died, his family announced Saturday. He was 92.

Driesell was the first to coach four NCAA Division I schools to at least 100 wins each during stints at Maryland, Davidson, James Madison and Georgia State universities, compiling a career coaching record of 786-394.

Driesell earned nine conference coach of the year awards in the ACC, Southern, CAA and Atlantic Sun conferences.

He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2018.

Driesell coached high school basketball for nine seasons before accepting the head coaching position for Davidson, where he compiled a 176-65 record from 1961-1969.

He is most identified for coaching the University of Maryland Terrapins from 1970-1986 as they compiled a 348-159 record under his watch.

"Lefty Driesell was a transcendent figure in college basketball and the man who put Maryland basketball on the map," Terrapins Athletic Director Damon Evans said in a statement.

"Lefty was an innovator, a man who was ahead of his time from his coaching on the court to his marketing off the court. His memory will be forever etched in Maryland basketball history," he said.

Driesell left Maryland in the aftermath of the death of star player Len Bias, who died from a cocaine overdose two days after the Boston Celtics drafted him second overall during the 1986 NBA draft.

Driesell afterward coached James Madison to a 159-111 record from 1988 through 1996 and Georgia State to a 103-59 record from 1998 to 2003.

Driesell played college basketball at Duke, earning two varsity letters in 1953 and 1954, and is a member of the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame, which he joined in 1993.

"Today we mourn the loss of one of college basketball's outstanding coaches and great men, Lefty Driesell," Duke head coach Jon Scheyer told the Duke Chronicle. "On behalf of our program, we offer our deepest sympathies to the family and friends he impacted so profoundly."