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Volume 4, Issue 4                                    University of Houston

Maggard introduced to UH community, Smith happy

By Ken Fountain
Breaking News Staff

Vowing to "awaken the sleeping giant," Dave Maggard was formally welcomed to his new job as director of UH's troubled athletics program in a Tuesday ceremony at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

Maggard, 61, said "this will be my last job" in a career that has included stints as athletics director at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Miami in Florida. Most recently, Maggard served as a consultant from 1996 to 2000 for Atlanta-based Turner Sports/Time Warner Inc.

"I look forward to doing everything I can to bring the University of Houston back to the national stature that it once enjoyed," Maggard said in a briefing prior to the official ceremony.

New UH Athletics Director Dave Maggard speaks to members of the Houston media at the Athletic/Alumni Center Tuesday.

Pin Lim/Breaking News

UH officials announced Maggard's five-year, $250,000-a-year appointment Jan. 2. Maggard will assume the duties of the post Feb. 1. He replaces former AD Chet Gladchuk, who resigned in September to take the athletics director role at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

"We are honored to have Dave join us," UH President Arthur K. Smith said. "He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, savvy, great leadership. I think Dave is exactly the right person to lead the University of Houston's athletics program in the years ahead."

"One of the major reasons that I accepted this job is because of President Smith and his reputation around the country; his feeling about the entire University of Houston, and sports and athletics," Maggard said.

"I know it's a very big challenge here, and that was part of what really appealed to me," Maggard said. "Without our making a lot of promises, we're going to have expectations that are very, very high. We want to be major players in Conference USA, in NCAA championships, in bowl games.

"We don't ever want to lose to Rice again, in anything," he joked. "That's a wonderful competition for us, but we want to make it a friendly competition. You know, it's like competing with your brother. You never want to lose to your crosstown rival."

Asked what are the key aspects of the challenge facing him, Maggard said "first of all, we want to have a great program across the board, in every sport. I think we have some financial challenges we need to solve. We need to increase our revenue. We need to increase our giving. We need to increase our marketing and exposure -- raise it to a new level in the Houston area, and the state of Texas, as well."

Noting the importance of the football and basketball programs in garnering national exposure, Maggard said "it will be my job to give the confidence to the coaches, to support them. If we don't have the resources available, we need to try to get those resources."

Maggard stressed the need for the University and his office to reach out to alumni, students and Houston community members to increase those resources for a program which has an officially announced deficit of $7.5 million.

Asked what drew him to accept another highly challenging athletics directorship at this stage in his life, Maggard said "in terms of my career, this is my last stop. This is it for me, and I want to put everything I possibly can into it. I want to be here at UH and see if I can make a difference. This looked like a situation and a place where people can make a difference."

Maggard said his immediate priorities are to meet with the coaches and staff to them get acquainted with and determine goals and plans. "I need to get a feel for who we are, who the players are. And I plan to do that with alumni and the community as well."

"This is going to take enormous output from everyone," he said.

Following Gladchuck's resignation, Smith appointed a four-person advisory board to provide consultation for a national search for the person to take the job.

Smith said around 40 people were named as possible candidates. The list was narrowed to four who were brought in for face-to-face interviews. The choice was then narrowed to two before Maggard was selected.

Asked what in particular made Maggard stand out, Smith said he received a strong letter of recommendation from Conference USA Commissioner Mike Slive.

"And then, of course, I looked at his resume. Dave's resume speaks for itself. He has a remarkable record of accomplishment over three decades in athletics administration."

Smith said that after he and the four-person advisory group interviewed Maggard, "we all concluded, after spending just an hour or so, that this was probably our guy."

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