Five things to know about new Maryland athletic director Damon Evans

Damon Evans, Executive Athletic Director; DJ Durkin, head football coach; and physician Frank Henn at a press conference at the University of Maryland to talk about Jordan McNair. Two weeks after collapsing during a team workout and being hospitalized, the football player died Wednesday.

The search for a permanent athletic director at Maryland ended Monday when the school named Damon Evans, who had been acting in interim since April, to the position. He will begin his duties Monday.

“In Damon, the University​ of Maryland​ has the right person at the right time,” school President Wallace D. Loh said in a statement.


Here’s five things to know about the new Terps athletic director:

1. He has experience bringing wins to a Division I school.

Serving as Georgia’s athletic director from 2004 to 2010, the Bulldogs amassed 19 Southeastern Conference and 13 national titles, including:

  • One football crown in 2005, one men’s basketball tournament title in 2008 and two track and field titles in 2006
  • One regular-season title in baseball (2008) and one regular-season title in softball (2005)
  • Two women’s swimming titles (2006, 2010)
  • Five regular-season and six tournament crowns in tennis
  • Four gymnastics titles in seven seasons
  • Four men’s and one women’s golf championships

In 2003, he was named “One of the Most Influential Minorities in Sports” by Sports Illustrated and was both the first African-American athletic director and youngest athletic director in SEC history.

New Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said his wife, Kerri, encouraged him to join Kevin Anderson's staff four years ago after he was forced to leave Georgia in 2010.

2. He’s known for his ability to generate millions for an athletic department.

In his second year as athletic director at Georgia, the school was awarded the title of “Nation’s Most Profitable Intercollegiate Athletics Program.” In his six years, Evans increased the Bulldogs’ reserve fund by $56 million and brought in $29.5 million in donations to Georgia football in 2007-08 alone.

After being hired as Maryland’s chief financial officer in 2014, Evans oversaw the new multimedia rights agreements with both the Baltimore and Washington markets, which resulted in a $30 million increase to the department’s revenue.

3. He’s focused on the relationship between athletics and academics.

Nine Maryland programs achieved perfected single-year Academic Progress Rates for the 2016-17 academic year. Most notably, Terps football earned its best score (.981) in 15 years. And since the fall, 89 student-athletes have graduated and 151 have received Academic All-Big Ten honors.

Evans also oversaw a $21.25 million donation from Barry and Mary Gossett to set up an academic center in their name, which will help student-athletes find internships and full-time jobs after graduation.

With football player Jordan McNair's death still hanging over College Park, Damon Evans is given long-awaited second chance as Maryland's new athletic director.

4. He’s not just a businessman — he was a pretty good athlete, too.

Evans was a four-year letterman at wide receiver under legendary Georgia football coach Vince Dooley, including as a member of the 1991 and 1992 teams that won nine and 10 games, respectively. He finished his Bulldogs career with 23 catches for 260 yards.

In his final year of high school in Gainesville, Ga., Evans set a school record in the 200-yard dash and was the Most Valuable Player of his basketball team.

5. He’s no stranger to controversy.

"I am not trying to bribe you, but I am the athletic director of the University of Georgia,” Evans told police officers before a 2010 arrest for drunken driving and failure to maintain a lane, according to a police report. He left his AD position four days later.

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