Included on the team are a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, six All-Americas, three All-ACC selections, six NBA Draft selections, four players who led their teams to five ACC Championships and two former successful coaches, including one who led Maryland to the 2002 National Championship.
Leading the way is former ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan (Keswick, Va.), who served on the NCAA’s Men’s Basketball Committee and oversaw the ACC for a 10-year period when the conference captured three NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships and saw 11 teams earn berths to the NCAA’s Final Four. Corrigan is a being honored as an ACC Legend this year as the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament celebrates its 60th anniversary.
Also leading the way are former Georgia Tech All-America point guard Mark Price (Enid, Okla.), who was the focal point of the resurgence of the Bobby Cremins-coached Georgia Tech teams of the mid-1980’s; former Maryland head coach Gary Williams (Collingswood, N.J.), who led the Terrapins to the 2002 National Championships and to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in his 22 seasons at College Park; and “Gentleman” Carl Tacy (Huttonsville, W. Va.), who coached Wake Forest to six post-season appearances and 222 victories in his 13 seasons at the helm in Winston-Salem.
Joining them are Boston College’s Gerry Ward (Bronx, N.Y.) who completed his career as the Eagles’ 3rd-leading career scorer while playing for coaches Don Martin and Frank Power; Clemson’s Terrell McIntyre (Raeford, N.C.), a prolific point guard for the Tigers who three times earned All-ACC honors; Duke’s Trajan Langdon (Anchorage, Alaska), one of the key cogs of the Blue Devils 1999 team which advanced to the NCAA national championship game and who was one of the most effective long-range shooters and free throw shooters in league history; Florida State’s Tharon Mayes (New Haven, Conn.), who helped lead Florida State to its first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for then coach Pat Kennedy; and Miami’s Mike Wittman (St. Joseph’s, Michigan), who was a high-scoring forward for the record-setting Miami teams of the mid 1960’s.
Completing this year’s ACC Legends Class are North Carolina’s Mike O’Koren (Jersey City, N.J.), one of the most versatile players in Tar Heel history who helped lead the Dean-Smith coached teams to four NCAA appearances and ACC Championships in 1977 and 1979; NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg (Washington, D.C), the author of the most famous pass/shot in NCAA Tournament history and a key member of the Jim Valvano-coached 1983 National Championship squad; Virginia’s Travis Watson (Brookneal, Va.), a versatile forward who helped lead the Cavaliers to four consecutive post-season tournament appearances; and Virginia Tech’s Ace Custis (Eastville, Va.), a versatile forward who led the Hokies to the Championship of the 1995 NIT and an appearance in the 1996 NCAA Tournament.
The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., March 14-17. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 16, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com.
Corrigan (1987-97) served as the Commissioner of the ACC during a 10-year period when the league saw 10 of its teams advance to the NCAA Final Four and two of them (1991-93) win three consecutive national championships in basketball. A 1952 graduate of Duke, Corrigan began his athletics administration career at Washington & Lee University in 1955 as coach of the school’s basketball, soccer and lacrosse teams. Three years later he joined the staff at the University of Virginia as head lacrosse and soccer coach and assistant basketball coach, leaving UVa in 1967 to become the Service Bureau Director at the Atlantic Coast Conference under the ACC’s first Commissioner, Jim Weaver.
He returned to Washington & Lee as director of athletics in 1969, and took the same position at Virginia in 1971. Ten years later he left UVa to become the director of athletics at Notre Dame. During his time in South Bend, he served on the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Committee. He rejoined the ACC as its third Commissioner in 1987. During his time with the ACC, Corrigan oversaw the addition of Florida State to the conference and was a key factor in the formation of the Football Bowl Alliance, the forerunner to today’s BCS. In his final two and a half years with the ACC, Corrigan served as President of the NCAA. Additionally, he served as a member of the NCAA Special Advisory Committee to Review Distribution of Revenues and was Chair of the NCAA Committee on Cost Reduction. A native of Baltimore, Md., he currently resides in Keswick, Va., just outside of Charlottesville.
Ward (1961-63) started three seasons for the Eagles as a 6-4 forward, playing his first two years under Don Martin and his final year under coach Frank Power. He averaged in double figures each year, averaging a then-school record 20.0 points a game as a senior in 1963. His total of 1,115 career points, which still ranks 33rd on the Boston College career scoring list, was the school’s third-best career total when he finished his college career. Ward led the Eagles to a 39-32 three-year record, shooting .525 from the field, which at the time was a school career record. A fierce competitor on the boards, his career rebounding average of 13.3 per contest is still the second-best in school history and his total of 947 rebounds still ranks 6th on the BC career list. His three single-season rebound averages rank among the top eight single seasons in BC history, including a 15.6 rebound norm in the 1962 season which is the school’s third-best season rebounding average. After averaging 20 points and 12.4 rebounds as a senior, he was named a third-team All-America and an Academic All-America first-team honoree. After graduation, he was drafted in the first round of the 1963 NBA Draft as the fifth overall selection by the St. Louis Hawks. He played four seasons in the NBA as a guard for the Hawks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls, averaging 3.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He was a member of the 1965 World Champion Boston Celtics. Ward is a member of the Boston College Varsity Hall of Fame and his jersey was retired by Boston College in 2007. He currently lives in Ridgefield, Conn.
McIntyre (1995-99), a diminutive but extremely talented point guard, was the leader of four Clemson teams which reached post-season play—including three NCAA appearances--under coaches Rick Barnes and Larry Shyatt during the 1996 through 1999 seasons. He earned second-team All-ACC honors in 1997 and 1999 and third-team accolades in 1998. He was also named to the 1998 All-ACC Tournament first team and was a member of the 1996 All-ACC Freshman team. McIntyre still ranks second in Clemson history in scoring with 1,839 points, assists (577), free throws made (396) and three-point goals made (259). He led the Tigers to a four-year record of 79-50 and NCAA Tournament berths in 1996, 1997 and 1998, as well as a trip to the 1999 NIT. He led the ACC in scoring as a senior, averaging 18.9 points per game. After leaving Clemson he played professionally for 10 seasons in Europe, twice being named first-team All-Euroleague and had his jersey retired by Montepaschi Siena in Italy this past September. He is currently retired from professional basketball and resides in Charlotte, N.C.
Langdon (1994-99), one of the most accurate long-range shooters in ACC history, started four seasons for the Blue Devils, missing only the 1995-96 campaign due to injury. He led Duke to four NCAA Tournament berths, helping the Blue Devils to the 1999 ACC Championship and to the championship game of the NCAA’s Final Four later that year. He was named a first-team NABC All-America in 1999 and second-team honors by the Sporting News and Associated Press. He was also named a 2nd-team All-America by The Sporting News in 1998. Langdon earned three first-team All-ACC selections in 1997, 1998 and 1999. An excellent student as well, he was three times named to the All-ACC Academic Basketball Team. Langdon still ranks 5th on the ACC’s career list for free throw percentage, making 86.2 percent of his charity tosses and is 4th in the ACC’s career three-point field goals and 7th in ACC history in career three-point field goal percentage, making 42.6 per cent of his long-range bonus bombs. A first-round selection by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1999 NBA Draft, Langdon became the first Alaskan to play in the NBA. He spent three seasons with Cleveland, and then played professionally for eight seasons in Europe, the last six with CSKA Moscow. He averaged 12.7 points per game over his eight seasons and was named the Euroleague Final Four MVP in 2008 while also earning first-team all-Euroleague honors twice and second-team accolades once. Langdon retired from professional basketball in June 2011 after helping CSKA to its ninth consecutive Russian League crown. He currently resides in Arlington, Va.
Mayes (1988-90), a three-year starter for the Seminoles at guard, led FSU to its first back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1988 and 1989 for then-head coach Pat Kennedy. Mayes averaged double figures in scoring each of his three varsity seasons, averaging 13.2 as a sophomore, 13.3 as a junior and 23.3 points per game as a senior in 1990, still the third-highest single-season scoring average in Florida State history. His total of 1,260 career points still ranks 20th on the FSU all-time scoring list and his career scoring average of 16.4 points per game ranks 19th. He helped lead FSU to a three-year record of 57-34, including a 22-8 mark during the 1988-89 season when the Seminoles finished the year ranked 16th nationally. In 1990, Mayes set an FSU record for three-point field goal percentage, averaging 46 percent from the three-point arc. He still ranks 8th in the FSU career records for three-point field goals (128) and three-point field goal percentage (.380), as well as 8th in career free throw percentage (.784). He also is still ranked 16th in career steals. Mayes played one season in the NBA with three different teams, Toronto, Philadelphia and the L.A. Clippers, then went on to play seven seasons in the CBA and nine more years in Europe before retiring after the 1999-2000 season. He currently lives in New Haven, Conn., where he works for the Boys and Girls Club.
Price (1982-86), the point guard leader of Georgia Tech’s basketball resurgence under head coach Bobby Cremins, is one of only four players in ACC history to earn first- or second-team All-ACC honors in each of his four varsity seasons. Price earned 2nd-team All-ACC honors in 1983, leading the conference in scoring as a freshman and earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors. He then was named 1st-team All-ACC in 1984, 1985 and 1986 joining on North Carolina’s Tyler Hansborough, Virginia’s Jeff Lamp and Duke’s Johnny Dawkins as four-year All-ACC honorees. A three-time All-America, he was a first-team selection in 1985. Price helped Tech post a four-year record of 85-41 for a program which was 14-40 in the two years before he arrived in Atlanta. Price also led the Jackets to earn a bid to the NIT in 1984 and NCAA appearances in 1985 and 1986, as Tech reach the NCAA East Regional finals in 1985 and the Southeast Region semifinals in 1986. Price was named the winner of the Everett Case Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the 1985 ACC Tournament in Atlanta as he led Tech to its first ACC Basketball Championship. A finalist for the Wooden and Naismith National Player of the Year Awards in 1986, he was the first pick of the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft by Dallas, which promptly traded him to Cleveland. He went on to a 12-year career in the NBA, the first nine with Cleveland. A four-time NBA All-Star and named to the 1993 All-NBA first-team, Price played a total of 722 NBA games, scoring 10,989 points and averaging 15.2 points and 6.7 assists per game. His career free throw percentage of 90.4 is the best in NBA history. He also compiled a field goal percentage of 47.2 percent for his career and 40.2 percent from three-point range. After retiring from the NBA at the end of the 1998 season, he began an extensive career in coaching, including spending one season as an assistant to Cremins at Georgia Tech. Originally a native of Enid, Okla., he now resides in Orlando, Fla.
Williams (1990-2011), one of the most respected coaches in ACC history, took over a downtrodden Maryland program in 1990 and rebuilt the Terrapins into a national basketball powerhouse. In all, he won 461 games in 22 seasons at his alma mater, posting a 461-252 (.647) to become the winningest coach in Terrapin history. Known for his fiery coaching style, Williams led Maryland to 14 NCAA appearances, including two Final Four appearances. He was named National Coach of the Year after leading Maryland to the 2002 NCAA National Championship, the first ever for the College Park school. He was twice named ACC Coach of the Year (2002, 2010) and led the Terps to the 2004 ACC Championship. A native of Collingswood, N.J., Williams played three seasons at Maryland (1964-67) as a point guard for Coach Bud Millikan and was named team captain in his senior season of 1967. He graduated in 1968 with a degree in Marketing and spent three seasons as a high school coach before beginning his college coaching career as an assistant at Lafayette (1972-73) and Boston College (1973-78). He then served as a head coach at American University (1978-82), Boston College (1982-86) and Ohio State (1986-89) before taking over at Maryland. He has an overall coaching record of 668-380 (.637) for 33 seasons and ranks 34th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list. In all, he led his teams to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and 8 trips to the NIT. He finished his career ranked 3rd among all ACC coaches in total wins and ACC victories trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina’s Dean Smith. He retired from Maryland after the 2011 season and currently lives in Bethesda, Md.
Wittman (1964-67), as a sophomore, played on the 1964-65 Miami team which established a then-NCAA record scoring average of 98.4 points per game. Playing for legendary Miami head coach Bruce Hale and teaming with All-America Rick Barry, that Miami team topped the 100-point mark 10 times that year including tallying a school-record 148 points against Rollins College. A year later, Wittman, with Barry playing in the NBA, took over the leadership of the team, averaging 21.8 points a contest as a junior and 22.3 points per game as a senior, and being named team MVP both years. In his senior season of 1966-67, he shot 80 percent from the foul line and 48 percent from the field. In his three seasons at UM, Wittman helped the Hurricanes compile a 52-26 record. He still ranks 15th in career scoring with 1,319 career points and he has recorded two of the top 11 scoring seasons in school history with 567 points as a junior in 1966 and 585 points in 1967. His career field goal percentage of .473 still ranks 10th-best in Miami history and his 335 career free throws ranks 8th. He ranks 6th all-time for the “U” with 33 games of 20 or more points, including four 30-point contests. He saved his best performance for last, leading the Hurricanes to a win over arch-rival FSU with a 20-point and 20-rebound effort in his final collegiate game. A fifth-round draft choice by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1967 NBA Draft, he opted instead to play for the Phillips 66ers and Akron Wingfoots in the National Industrial Basketball League, where he was first-team All-League in 1968. Wittman retired from basketball and spent the next 40 years broadcasting TV sports. He is recognized as the “father of aerial sports broadcasting with Goodyear” and has covered over 2,500 live sports events from the Goodyear blimp, including six Olympics, 30 World Series, 26 Super Bowls and dozens of college football games, including three of Miami’s national championship games. As Director of Aerial Sports Broadcasting, he introduced the first gyro-stabilized camera. He currently lives in St. Joseph, Michigan.
O’Koren (1977-80), one of the most versatile players in Tar Heel history, was the centerpiece of Dean Smith-coached North Carolina teams that captured ACC Championships in 1977 and 1979 and earned NCAA Tournament berths in each of his four varsity seasons, including a Final Four berth and NCAA Championship Game appearance in 1977. During his four seasons in Chapel Hill, he helped lead the Tar Heels to a 94-29 record. He is still the only UNC player to have recorded at least 1,500 points (1,765), 800 rebounds (815) and 300 assists (348) in his career. He also had 183 steals and shot 57.2 percent from the field for his career. O’Koren was a three-time first-team All-America for the Tar Heels after the 1978, 1979 and 1980 seasons. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in 1978 and 1980 and was named first-team All-ACC Tournament in 1977 and 1979. At his best in the big games, O’Koren had 18 points and 11 rebounds, scoring UNC’s final 10 points in a 71-63 win over Duke in the 1979 ACC Championship game. A first-round draft choice and the 6th overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, he played six seasons with the Nets and one with Washington Bullets before retiring with the Nets in 1988. In 407 NBA games he scored 3,355 points (8.2 avg.), had 1,391 rebounds (3.4 avg.) and 856 assists (2.1 avg.). A native Jersey City, N.J., he currently lives outside of New York City in the Township of Washington, N.J.
Whittenburg (1979-83), one of the key players on NC State’s 1983 National Championship team, is the author of the most famous missed shot in NCAA Tournament history. A three-year starter for the Wolfpack under legendary coach Jim Valvano, it was Whittenburg’s desperation heave with time running out that the late Lorenzo Charles grabbed and dunked for the winning basket in the Wolfpack’s historic 54-52 upset of top-ranked Houston to claim the 1983 national championship. A second-team All-ACC selection in 1982, Whittenburg was a likely first-team choice in 1983, but missed 14 games of the season with a foot fracture, only returning to play in State’s third-to-last regular season game. His return, though, helped spark the Wolfpack to a near-miraculous 10-game winning streak that saw them capture the ACC championship and the NCAA title with a series of last-minute heroics that earned the team the nickname “Cardiac Pack.” A four-year contributor at State, he played one season under former Wolfpack coach Norman Sloan and three for Valvano, helping lead the program to three NCAA Tournament appearances and an overall record of 82-41. He was named to the first-team All-ACC Tournament team in 1983, to the second team in 1982, and to the NCAA’s All-Final Four Team in 1983. An excellent outside shooter who also had excellent jumping ability, Whittenburg paired with Sidney Lowe to become one of the Wolfpack’s all-time best backcourts and he is still ranked 28th in career scoring (1,272) and 13th in career free throw percentage (.794). A third-round draft choice of the Phoenix Suns in the 1983 NBA draft, Whittenburg began his college coaching career as an assistant at State (1985-86). He then served as an assistant at George Mason (1987), Long Beach State (1988), again at NC State (1989-91), Colorado (1992-93), West Virginia (1994) and Georgia Tech (1995-99) before spending four years as head coach at Wagner College (2000-03) and six years at Fordham (2004-09). He has a 10-year head coaching record of 135-162 (.454). Whittenburg is a long-time board member for the “V” Foundation, the organization which raises funds for cancer research in memory of Valvano, and he is currently a game-day and studio analyst for ESPNU’s college basketball broadcasts. A native of Washington, D.C., where he played at DeMatha High School for the legendary Morgan Wootten, Whittenburg currently lives in New York City.
Watson (1999-03), a three-time All-ACC power forward for Virginia under head coach Pete Gillen, is one of the most consistent performers in Cavalier history. The 6-8 frontcourtman totaled 54 games in which he scored and rebounded in double figures, the 12th highest total in ACC history. Watson averaged in double figures in each of his four seasons at UVa, totaling 1,546 career points, good enough for 14th in the Virginia career list. He also grabbed 1,115 rebounds in his career, more than any over Cavalier save for the legendary Ralph Sampson. Watson’s career rebound total places him 15th on the ACC career list. Named second-team All-ACC in 2001, 2002 and 2003, he led the ACC in rebounding in 2002 (9.7) and 2003 (10.4), finished second in 2001 (9.1) and was fourth as a freshman in 2000 (8.3). A four-year starter, he led UVa to a four-year record of 72-48 including four straight post-season tournament appearances, three NIT bids and one NCAA appearance. He still ranks third on Virginia’s career blocked shots list (130) and eighth in field goal percentage (.519). He has played nine seasons professionally in Europe and Israel, leading the Euroleague in rebounding in 2007 while playing for Armani Jeans Milano and the Greek League in rebounding in 2004 and 2005. Born in San Antonio, Tex., and a native of Brookneal, Va., he played high school basketball at Narunas, Va. and Oak Hill Academy (Oak Hill, Va.) and currently resides in Alexandria, Va.
Custis (1993-97), the central figure for the Hokies’ 1995 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship team and one of the most popular players in Virginia Tech history, was a four-year starter at power forward for the Virginia Tech teams of coach Bill Foster. Named to the All-Metro Conference team as a sophomore, he was selected to the All-Atlantic 10 team as a junior and senior. During his senior season, he was a finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award. He led the Hokies to a record of 81-42, including the championship of the 1995 NIT and a 1996 appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He led Virginia Tech in rebounding for four consecutive seasons and his total of 1,177 career boards ranks 3rd in Tech history. The 6-7 performer still ranks 10th on the Virginia Tech career list for points scored (1,706), 6th in field goals made (660), 5th in career rebound average (9.5) and 7th in career steals (199). He is one of only three players in Virginia Tech history to surpass the 1,500 mark in both points and rebounds. After graduation, he enjoyed a lengthy professional career in Japan. He is one of just four Tech players to have their jersey’s retired and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He currently lives in Suffolk, Va.
Tacy (1973-85), known as “Gentleman Carl” Tacy, for his calm courtside demeanor, is one of the most successful basketball coaches in Wake Forest history. A native of Huttonsville, Va., and a graduate of Davis and Elkins College, Tacy came to Wake Forest after 10 successful seasons as a high school coach, three years at Ferrum (Va.) Junior College (now Ferrum University) where he posted a 67-14 record and one season as an assistant coach and one year as head coach at Marshall University where he led the Thundering Herd to a 23-4 record and a berth in the 1972 NCAA Tournament. He became head coach at Wake Forest in 1972-73 and began a 13-year tenure in which he posted a record 222-149 (.599), still the third-highest win total for the Deacons in history. He guided Wake Forest to four NCAA Tournament appearances and two NIT berths, leading Wake to post-season play in each of his final five years in Winston-Salem. Four of his Wake Forest teams ended the year ranked nationally by the Associated Press, including his 1977 club which was ranked 9th and reached the finals of the Midwest Regionals before losing to eventual NCAA championship Marquette. His 1984 team set a school mark for wins and reached the NCAA’s regional semifinals and was ranked 19th nationally, while his 1981 (11th) and 1982 (18th) teams also achieved final national rankings. While at Wake Forest, he coached three All-Americas: Skip Brown, Rod Griffin and Frank Johnson. He is currently retired and living in Winston-Salem, N.C.