WASHINGTON – The University of Maryland played its last Atlantic Coast Conference football game at Byrd Stadium against Boston College on Nov. 23. The Terrapins lost 29-26 to the Golden Eagles in their second-to-last football game (they will play Marshall in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27) before the university joins the Big 10 at the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Terrapins will leave behind a rich history of ACC highlights in every varsity sport, including national championships in football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and field hockey.
“I have great memories of playing in the ACC,” said Juan Dixon, the former Terps basketball star who scored the most points (2,269) and three-point field goals (239) in school history. “We played in so many memorable games. I loved the competition. Loved playing for Coach (Gary) Williams. My teammates and I had an unbelievable journey — advancing to two Final Fours and winning a National Championship.”
As the Terps prepare for Big 10 competition, check out some of the best athletes to come out of Maryland during its time in the ACC.
Men’s Basketball: Len Bias
Twenty-seven years after his death, Bias is still considered one of the most tragic cases of “what could have been” in sports. The six-foot-eight-inch forward from Riverdale played for the Terps from 1982-86 and was a consensus first team All-American in 1986. The Boston Celtics drafted him second overall in the 1986 NBA draft. He died two days later of cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose. The day after Bias’s death, former Maryland basketball Coach Lefty Driesell said in a news conference that Bias is “the greatest basketball player that ever played in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
Women’s Basketball: Crystal Langhorne
Langhorne is the women’s basketball team’s career leader in points (2,247) and rebounds (1,229). She was part of the Terps’ 2006 national championship squad. “It’s an honor to be the all-time leading scorer in Maryland history,” she said via email from Turkey, where she plays during the WNBA’s offseason. “So many great players have come out of the program and I know eventually my records will be broken.” Langhorne currently plays center for the Washington Mystics.
Football: Boomer Esiason
As a Terp from 1981-83, Esiason passed for 6,259 yards and 42 touchdowns. He was drafted in 1984 by the Cincinnati Bengals, where Esiason played for 10 of his 14 years in the NFL. He made four Pro Bowls, earned NFL Most Valuable Player honors in 1988 and led the Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII. Esiason has become a prominent sports broadcaster, serving as an analyst for “The NFL Today” on CBS and as co-host for “Boomer and Carton in the Morning” on WFAN Radio in New York.
Men’s Soccer: Jason Garey
Garey is Maryland’s all-time leader in points (140) and goals (60). He was a first-team All-American in 2005, the same year he won the Hermann Trophy for best college soccer player in the country and helped lead the Terrapins to the College Cup. He bounced around Major League Soccer for a few years after graduating, playing for the Columbus Crew from 2006-10 and the Houston Dynamo in 2011. Garey became a member of the Carolina Railhawks of the North American Soccer League in 2012.
Women’s Soccer: Keri Sarver
Sarver leads Maryland soccer in just about every statistical category, including points (155), goals (61), assists (33), shots (279) and game-winning goals (17). She said Maryland’s exit from the ACC elicited a “punch in the gut type of feeling. When I played I identified with the history and tradition of the ACC. With anything in life where you have a major change like this, it comes with opportunities for new successes.” Sarver is currently an assistant women’s soccer coach at Akron University.
Men’s Lacrosse: Frank Urso
Patrick Fischer, Maryland’s associate media relations director for men’s lacrosse, called Urso the “unquestioned greatest athlete for Maryland (removed ‘s) men’s lacrosse.” Urso played for the Terps from 1973-76, was a four-time, first-team All-American and led Maryland to four NCAA Championship appearances and two wins in 1973 and 1975. He is currently the head lacrosse coach at Garnet Valley High School in Glen Mills, Pa.
Women’s Lacrosse: Jen Adams
Adams is not only the Maryland career leader in goals (267), points (178) and assists (445), but she is also the all-time NCAA leader in the latter two categories. “I had an incredible experience playing at Maryland,” said the Brighton, South Australia, native. “Maryland adopted me. It felt like a family for me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Adams is currently the head women’s lacrosse coach at Loyola University of Maryland.
Field Hockey: Katie O’Donnell
O’Donnell is not only a four-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year, but also an Olympian who has been playing for the U.S. women’s field hockey team since 2005. She holds all of Maryland field hockey’s offensive records, including points (306), goals (99) and assists (108). She helped lead the Terps to three NCAA Championship appearances and two wins in 2008 and 2010. She still plays internationally and returned to the Terps last year as a student assistant coach.