In 1989, a one-time college wrestler from New York arrived at UMBC to interview for the job of athletic director.
He never left. Yesterday, Dr. Charles Brown - now the longest-tenured college AD in Maryland - signed a contract extension that will keep him at UMBC through 2011.
"Four more years is about as much as I can go," Brown, 62, said. "May they be as enjoyable as my first 18 here."
During that stretch, UMBC has gained a foothold in Division I athletics. In the past 10 years, the Retrievers have won 42 league championships and upgraded facilities for nearly all of the school's 19 varsity sports.
"When I first came here [to interview], I'd never heard of the school," said Brown, who'd been AD at Hunter College (N.Y.). "Then I drove around campus for an hour and thought, 'this could be something.'"
"I'm proud of what we've done," said Brown, who has a doctorate in physical education.
At the top of his wish list: establish a winner in men's basketball. That team is coming off five losing seasons, during which it went 47-97.
"I'd like to build a 6,000-seat arena somewhere down the road," he said. "It may not happen in my time, but if you know of a [financial] donor, let me know."