By Grant Whittington
Len Bias’ parents and two of his siblings were escorted to the front of the Heise Room at the Samuel Riggs Alumni Center after emcee Chick Hernandez announced Bias’ name be enshrined into this university’s Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 3. More than 400 attendees at the ceremony gave Bias a chilling standing ovation.
Bias, arguably one of the best basketball players in the schools history, was two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in an era of the ACC that showcased stars in the making, including Michael Jordan. By his senior year, Bias was an acclaimed professional prospect and, subsequently, was selected second overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft.
Bias died of a cocaine overdose two days after being drafted, never having the opportunity to don a Celtics jersey. Twenty-eight years later, Bias, one of the most celebrated collegiate athletes in Maryland history, joins the ranks as a member of this university’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Kevin Glover, executive director of the M-Club and Maryland Athletics Hall of Famer, was on the election committee that voted for the induction of Bias along with seven other inductees. Bias had been eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame for 15 years, but the university decided to shy away from any controversy surrounding the induction.
“I just think the time was right,” Glover said. “We went through all the inductees and he is without a doubt well-deserved based on his accomplishments as a student athlete.”
George Solomon, sports editor of The Washington Post during Bias’ death and now director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, said the incident “shone a bad light” on both the university and college sports as a whole, but he was deserving of his induction.
“What happened was tragic and impacted his legacy, but by his induction, the Maryland Athletic Department recognizes his talent and what he meant to the university,” Solomon said.
Other members inducted into the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame:
Bob Boneillo (Men’s Lacrosse, 1977-1980)
The four-year star lacrosse player owned the attack during his tenure at Maryland and remains the all-time leader in points with 231(assists and goals combined) in a very prestigious lacrosse program with 11 national titles. Boneillo is tied for fifteenth in goals netted with 88 and second in assists with 143 in Maryland history. He was awarded both the Jack Turnbull National Attackman of the Year and ACC Player of the Year in 1979 on his way to a First Team All-American selection.
Edward G. Cooke (Men’s Track & Field, Football, 1957-1959)
The two-sport athlete found great success in both track and football during his three years at Maryland. Cooke was the king of shot put in the ACC, claiming indoor titles in 1956 and 1957 and outdoor titles in 1956, 1957 and 1958. He also excelled on the football field, earning First Team All-ACC and Honorable Mention All-American in 1957. Following his career at Maryland, the linebacker had a nomadic NFL career playing for seven different teams in 10 years.
Maureen Scott Dupcak (Field Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse, 1990-1994)
Considered one of the best women’s lacrosse players in ACC history, Dupcak had quite an illustrious career at Maryland, lettering four times in both lacrosse and field hockey. She led the Terrapins to a 1992 national championship and was named an All-American in 1994. After Maryland, she continued to thrive in lacrosse, winning a gold medal representing the United States at the 1997 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup.
Alex Kahoe (Women’s Lacrosse, 1996-2000)
Kahoe was an instrumental part of the women’s lacrosse dynasty that saw the Terrapins hoist the championship trophy in four consecutive years. The goalkeeper was three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Goalkeeper of the Year.
Debbie Lytle (Women’s Basketball, 1980-1983)
The all-around team player led her team in assists and steals in all four years she played guard at Maryland. Lytle ranks 25th in program history and remains the program leader in steals with 315 takeaways.
Sandy Worth (Athletic Trainer, 1973-present)
Worth’s resume speaks for itself. During her 30 plus years with the university, she been the trainer for eight national title teams between field hockey and women’s lacrosse. She is also a pioneer in athletic training, becoming the first woman to serve as head athletic trainer at a school in the ACC and only woman to serve as head athletic trainer for football (1992-2004) in the conference.
Charlie Wysocki (Football, 1978-1982)
Long overdue for a Hall of Fame induction, Wysocki plunged his way to 3,317 yards in his four years, good for second best in program history. He’s tied for fourth all-time in touchdowns with 26 and was a two-time first team All-American selection in 1979 and 1980.