Former Maryland football coach Lester dies at 96

Field Level Media

May 06, 2020 at 1:08 am.

Roy Lester, the head football coach at Maryland from 1969-71, died Sunday at age 96 due to the coronavirus, the school announced.

He died in Rockville, Md., after being hospitalized for more than a week because of COVID-19, his daughter, Amy Lester Greco, posted on Facebook.

Lester was an assistant coach for the Terrapins from 1956-58 before leading the team to a 7-25 record in his three seasons as head coach.

Jerry Claiborne took over for Lester and led Maryland to a 77-37-3 record with seven bowl appearances from 1972-81.

The Terrapins’ current head coach, Mike Locksley, tweeted, “Sad to hear about the passing of underrated Terps Head Coach Roy Lester. 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”

Lester, a West Virginia native, made his name by leading Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md., to an 86-10-1 record from 1959-68, compiling six undefeated seasons.

After his time with the Terrapins, Lester returned to find more success in the high school ranks. He led Paint Branch High School of Burtonsville, Md., to a Class B state title in 1975, and he was in charge when Magruder High School in Rockville captured two state crowns in the 1980s.