Terps name Yow as their new AD

August 16, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- The University of Maryland did its part yesterday to alter the old-boy network that runs intercollegiate athletics.

Deborah A. Yow, most recently the athletic director at Saint Louis University, was introduced as the new athletic director at Maryland. She is the first female athletic director in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference, and one of only four women running one of the 106 college athletic programs that have football teams playing in Division I-A, the NCAA's highest designation.

With Dr. Suzanne Tyler remaining as the university's senior associate director of athletics, Maryland becomes the only Division I-A athletic department with women in the top two administrative positions.

"This decision makes a statement about the institution and the image we want to convey," said Maryland President William E. Kirwan. "She [Yow] is only one person, and she isn't going to be able to solve society's problems, but she has a lot going for her. Her personal values are ones I find compatible with my own."

When Yow, 42, takes over the Maryland athletic department on Aug. 28, she will become the first woman to head two different Division I athletic programs, but she is accustomed to breaking ground.

When Yow moved to the administrative side of intercollegiate athletics in 1985 at age 33, she left behind a successful career coaching women's basketball. She had become the first coach in the history of NCAA Division I men's or women's basketball to take three previously unranked programs into the Top 20.

She has been deeply involved in administration and fund raising for nearly the past decade, however, and is well aware of the significance of her new job.

"There are 13 of us [women athletic directors among the 302 NCAA Division I colleges], but I'm the only one in the second generation," Yow said. "Leadership isn't a gender issue, but we have a great opportunity to make an impact."

Last week, Yow said she wanted to remain at Saint Louis, but she and Kirwan came to a basic agreement Friday night, and spent the weekend ironing out some of the details on a five-year contract that has an annual base salary of $130,000.

Yow was one of four finalists recommended by a search committee that formed in May, when Andy Geiger resigned as Maryland athletic director after four years to take the same position at Ohio State. Ms. Yow, Tulane's Kevin White, East Carolina's Dave Hart and Dave Maggard, formerly of California and now with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, were recommended by the committee, but all said they were nothing more than consultants in Maryland's search process.


Age: 42

Hometown: Gibsonville, N.C.

Education: Bachelor of arts from Elon College; master's degree from Liberty University; Ph.D. from Baptist Christian University.

Family: Married to Dr. William A. Bowden.

Coaching experience: Burlington and Eastern Guilford high schools in North Carolina; directed Kentucky, Oral Roberts and Florida to NCAA tournament.

Administrative experience: Assistant director of Florida Gator Boosters, 1985-1987; associate athletic director at University of North Carolina-Greensboro, 1987-1990; athletic director at Saint Louis University, 1990-1994; member of the NCAA Council of the executive committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

Goals at Maryland: Improving the performance of Maryland teams from last in the ACC to the upper half of the conference in five years; eliminating the budget deficit in eight to 10 years; graduating athletes at a rate equal to or higher than the general student population and maintaining a graduation rate among the top 20 percent of I-A programs.

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