Former Maryland Football Coach Roy Lester Dies at 96 From Coronavirus

Roy Lester, former Maryland football coach, has died after battling complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 96 years old. Amy Lester Greco announced the news on Facebook that Lester died in Rockville, Maryland. He was Maryland's football coach from 1969-1971.

"Today is a day I've always dreaded," Greco wrote. "Today I lost my precious daddy. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly sad. However, thru my sadness I rejoice that my dad is with God, his mother & brother, Hewitt & Hoffman & Curtis & so many others. "How blessed I am to have been his only daughter. I am not a perfect person but everything good about me came from this beautiful man. This is a man that 'walked the walk' & when he was talking he was absolutely hilarious!! Please pray for me & my dear brothers & everyone that loved him. Just so you know he loved each & every one of you..."

"Sad to hear about the passing of underrated Terps Head Coach Roy Lester," current Maryland football coach Michael Locksley said in a tweet. "He came up the ranks as a high school coach and took over during a tumultuous time. He laid the solid foundation for the Claiborne era. Always a Terp." Before becoming the head coach, Lester served as an assistant coach from 1956-1958. In between that time, Lester was the head coach at Richard Montgomery High School in Maryland from 1959-68. He led the Rockets to 86 wins and six undefeated seasons during that span.

When Lester became the head coach at Maryland, he had a hard time getting the team off the ground. In his three years with the Terps, Lester compiled a 7-25 record and won no more than three games in a season. Lester went back to the high school ranks, becoming the head coach at Paint Branch in Maryland and led the team to a state championship in 1975. He also was the head coach at Magruder High School in Maryland and led that team to a state title in 1984 and 1986.

After Lester's departure at Maryland, Jerry Claiborne took over and led the team to several bowl appearances. There have been several Maryland head coaches since then including Bobby Ross, Ralph Friedgen and Randy Edsall.