Army's Anderson to be Maryland athletic director

Officials from Connecticut and Buffalo were also finalists

  • Army athletic director Kevin Anderson will become Maryland's next athletic director.
Army athletic director Kevin Anderson will become Maryland's…
September 05, 2010|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

Army athletic director Kevin Anderson, a former Xerox Corp. executive with athletics management experience at four universities, has been selected from among three finalists to be Maryland's next AD, officials at the school said Saturday.

Anderson, to be introduced on campus Tuesday, will become Maryland's first African-American AD, just as he was the first African-American to lead an athletic department at one of the military service academies.

The search committee selected three finalists, then left it to Maryland's incoming president, Wallace Loh, to make the choice. Loh assumes office Nov. 1 and had said he wanted to be deeply involved.

Committee members learned about Loh's choice in an e-mail. The other finalists were Connecticut AD Jeffrey Hathaway and Buffalo AD Warde Manuel, two search committee members said.

One of the commitee members said it did not help Hathaway's chances that Connecticut was accused in the spring of eight NCAA infractions related to men's basketball. Connecticut officials are preparing responses to the NCAA. The search panelist said Manuel and Anderson interviewed with the full committee, but Hathaway did not.

Efforts to reach Hathaway through Mike Enright, an athletic department spokesman, were unsuccessful.

The search committee members did not want to be named because no formal announcement had yet been made when they were contacted by The Sun.

Anderson will assume control of Maryland's 27 athletic teams and a roughly $55 million budget. His start date was not immediately known.

Anderson, an Army officer's son who graduated from San Francisco State in 1979, has worked in athletics at Army, Oregon State, Cal and Stanford.

"I've always been fortunate to have strong, black male role models in my life, starting with my father, Ralph, and uncles," Anderson told Army News Service after he was hired at West Point in 2004. "My father was a sergeant in the Army and that's how he raised us and instilled education, values and caring."

He spent his early working life at Xerox. A search committee member said the panel was impressed with his marketing skills -- an important consideration given that Maryland teams compete in the sports-rich Washington-Baltimore market and that football attendance has been declining.

At Army, Anderson, who is in his 50s, managed a budget of $25 million, less than half the size of Maryland's.

Army competes in the Patriot League in most sports. In June, the league had more teams honored by the NCAA for academic performance than any conference except the Ivy League.

Army's football team, which was 5-7 last season, is independent. Last season's five wins in coach Rich Ellerson's first season was the most for the program since 1996.

According to Maryland, Anderson erased an operating deficit of more than $1 million dollars, turning it into a $2.73 million surplus. It said he negotiated a deal with CBS to televise the Army-Navy game and worked on an agreement to bring an Army- Notre Dame football game to Yankee Stadium.

Gary Williams, Maryland's men basketball coach, said of Anderson: "If you're a coach, you got the feeling he is a coach's AD. I'm feeling really good about it."

Williams had often clashed with former athletic director Deborah Yow, who announced her departure in June and is now athletic director at North Carolina State -- her home state.

Randy Eaton, the department's chief financial officer, has been interim athletic director since Yow left. He said Saturday that he hopes to remain at Maryland, but that it will be up to Anderson to form his own team.

Anderson was unavailable for comment Saturday. Maryland officials said he was busy informing his Army staff of his departure.

As of 2009, 13.3 percent of athletic directors at Football Bowl Subdivision schools were people of color, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports of the University of Central Florida. Loh has often talked of the importance of diversity.

Loh emphasized the need to find an appropriate blend of athletics and academics. "Kevin has built a solid program of competitive and academic success at the U.S. Military Academy, supporting the student-athlete and demonstrating that academics and athletics can go hand in hand," Loh asid in a prepared statement.

Anderson has said one of his only regrets at Army is not beating Navy in football. The Black Knights have lost eight in a row.

Maryland plays Navy on Monday.

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