Yow stresses Williams' job is secure

Updated: February 2, 2009, 8:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow affirmed her support for men's basketball coach Gary Williams on Monday, expressing optimism for this season and stressing that his job is secure.

[+] EnlargeGary Williams
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesGary Williams is optimistic about his future at Maryland and is focused on recruiting.

The Terrapins are 14-7 this season and 3-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but Williams has been criticized for letting the program sink since Maryland won the NCAA championship in 2002. The coach, in his 20th season with the Terrapins, has been forced over the past couple of weeks to defend his recruiting and determination to win.

Yow has not commented on the situation in the aftermath of the death of her sister, North Carolina State women's basketball coach Kay Yow, who died last month of cancer. The funeral was Saturday.

Speaking to reporters, Yow said Monday, "I really want to lay to rest these crazy rumors that are floating around related to the job security of Coach Williams. He has my full support, as he does from the department and from the university.

"He and I communicate regularly, and a couple of things he's communicated to me are pretty important. One of these is he's very optimistic about the future, and he's very focused about recruiting," Yow said. "He's after it with as much enthusiasm and passion as I've seen in my 15 years here."

Yow said she expects Williams to serve the remainder of his contract, which has 3 more years and has a one-year rollover if the Terps make the NCAA tournament this season.

"She's the athletic director. She wanted to make a statement. That's certainly her prerogative," Williams said. "As for me, I'm the coach. I'm the basketball coach here at Maryland. I get measured by a lot of things, and you get compared to a lot of coaches around the country, so I think I'm in pretty good shape."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE