COLLEGE PARK -- University of Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger has accepted a similar position at Ohio State, sources at both schools said today.
Mr. Geiger, 55, will be introduced in Columbus either today or tomorrow. The announcement comes a week after he interviewed with officials at the Big Ten school in Columbus. Mr. Geiger will succeed Jim Jones, who recently retired.
Mr. Geiger leaves Maryland less than four years after coming from Stanford. Having been in similar positions at two Ivy League schools, Penn and Brown, Mr. Geiger had said that it would be his last athletic director's job.
It was Mr. Geiger's experience of more than 20 years as a Division I athletic director, as well as his background at schools with high academic standards, that made him the No. 1 choice of Ohio State President Gordon Gee.
Mr. Geiger emerged from a list of candidates that included Virginia athletic director Jim Copeland, Oregon State athletic director Dutch Baughman and two former Ohio State athletic stars -- two-time Heisman Trophy winner and current assistant athletic director Archie Griffin, as well as former basketball All-America Bill Hosket, now a Columbus businessman.
The departure of Mr. Geiger leaves Maryland searching for its fourth athletic director in the past eight years. Mr. Geiger replaced Lew Perkins, who left for Connecticut after less than three years on the job.
Mr. Geiger's contract still has a year remaining, but university president William E. Kirwan said last week that he would not hold Mr. Geiger to the remaining year. Mr. Geiger was making $125,000 a year, with a $15,000 annual annuity and use of two automobiles.
Mr. Geiger was unavailable for comment. He had checked out of the hotel outside Jacksonville, Fla., where he was attending an NCAA committee meeting, and was apparently headed home to Maryland to get his family, or to Columbus.
The reason for Mr. Geiger's departure isn't clear, and Maryland officials were taken by surprise last week when they learned of his involvement with the search at Ohio State. One reason could be the size of Ohio State's athletic department budget, which is estimated at $30 million, roughly twice the size of Maryland's.