There has been plenty of discussion about Debbie Yow’s arrival at NC State and what she plans and hopes to do with the NC State athletic program. There hasn’t, however, been much intelligent discussion of Yow’s legacy at Maryland after 16 years of service. Of course there has been the generic message board “response” from both Maryland and NC State fans. Maryland fans are happy to see Yow go while some NC State fans feel her hire is a mistake.
The ACC Sports Journal published a very interesting piece Monday regarding Yow’s legacy from the Maryland perspective. Some of the article is below, but please do the ACC Sports Journal and yourself a favor by clicking and reading the rest of the piece. It really is worth the time.
Harry â€œCurleyâ€ Byrd and James Kehoe are revered names in the history of Maryland athletics. You might not know it if you recently visited Maryland or N.C. State message boards, but Deborah A. Yow may have surpassed both in terms of her accomplishments as the Terpsâ€™ athletic director.
Kehoe presided over a truly golden era of Maryland athletics, as the 1970s saw the football program compete on a national level under Jerry Claiborne, and then the once-moribund basketball program blossomed under Lefty Driesell.
However, the late 1980s and early 1990s were not good to Maryland athletics, as the Len Bias scandal destroyed the basketball program and the departure of coach Bobby Ross sent the football program into a downward spiral.
While greatly handicapped by falling revenues because of the struggles of football and basketball, athletic directors Dick Dull, Lew Perkins and Andy Geiger oversaw a dark period for Maryland athletics that at some points became a mess both fiscally and competitively.
Geiger at least had the good sense to hire Gary Williams, which was the flash point for the ultimate resurgence of Maryland basketball. Geiger didnâ€™t fare so well in hiring a football coach, as the Mark Duffner tenure was an unqualified disaster.
Enter Yow, who was hired as Marylandâ€™s athletic director in 1994, at a time when not much was going right for the department. Yow inherited a massive $51 million debt, a history of poor academic performance among athletes, fan apathy and a slew of unsuccessful varsity programs.
Jeff Barker, a Maryland beat writer for the Baltimore Sun, also spoke about Yow’s legacy Monday on 620 the Buzz. Listen to that audio here.
Check back later today for some basketball discussion as Sidney Lowe holds his summer press conference this morning. Certainly he will have more to say about Yow along with his thoughts on the upcoming season.