- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2002

Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow signed a four-year contract extension yesterday that should keep her at the university through 2008.

Yow is in her eighth year at Maryland and has presided while the basketball team reached the Final Four last season and the football program experienced a resurgence. The Terrapins won the ACC title for the first time since 1985 during a 10-1 regular season and played in the Orange Bowl. The turnaround followed the arrival of coach Ralph Friedgen, who was hired by Yow last December.

Financial terms of Yow's new deal, her third contract extension at Maryland, were not available. Widely considered one of the nation's top administrators, Yow came to Maryland in 1994 after serving in the same position at Saint Louis University. Her original five-year deal was extended through 2002 and the second extension was through 2004.

"We are fortunate to have one of the nation's top athletic directors at Maryland," university president C. D. Mote said in a statement. "The evidence is clear, extending from her very successful and resourceful leadership of the athletic department to the quality of the coaching staff and athletes who represent the university."

Yow is also credited with turning the sports program around financially, and the athletic department has balanced its budget in each of her years.

Graduation rates have increased for athletes the past three years. A record 206 Maryland athletes were named to the ACC honor roll for earning a 3.0 grade-point average for the entire 2001 academic year.

"I work with what I consider to be the best group of administrators and coaches in collegiate athletics," said Yow, who is also largely responsible for locking up Friedgen to a 10-year contract after last season when he became a sought-after coach.

Yow began her career coaching high school basketball in North Carolina and became Kentucky's women's basketball's coach in 1976. She also coached at Oral Roberts and Florida. Yow averaged 20 victories for eight seasons, starting with her arrival at Kentucky.

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