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Saturday, December 2, 2023


Maggard’s legacy at UH extends beyond athletics

Faces associated with collegiate athletic programs tend to be those of young men and women in their late teens or early twenties, in peak physical condition, pushing themselves to the limit on the field, track, court or in the pool.’

At UH, however, a much older figure has joined those faces for the last seven years.’

Athletics director Dave Maggard, 69, announced his retirement effective May 11 at a press conference Wednesday.’

Maggard has worked tirelessly since he was hired by the University in 2002 to rebuild the athletics program into one of national prominence.’

During his time at UH, the football program won a Conference USA Championship in 2006 under former head coach Art Briles (whom Maggard hired in 2003) and earned its first postseason win in 28 years as the Cougars captured the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 31, 2008 under first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin.’

His concern stretched beyond athletic achievements, however. Graduation rates for UH athletes increased to 59 percent in 2008 from 27 percent when Maggard first arrived.’

Maggard preached dedication to the University’s athletic program, but he also practiced what he said. He was never far from the action at UH athletic events, pacing the press box or sidelines in his signature red jacket. He put long hours into his work to keep up with the schedules of students decades younger than him.’

He wholeheartedly rejoiced in Cougars’ victories and took losses hard, but never faltered in his belief that the UH athletics program and its athletes were worth the investment he was putting into them. ‘

Maggard was a master at building relationships – he knew players, coaches, reporters and supporters by name and often thanked them personally for the unique roles each played in building the program.’

‘On the one hand, it’s hard to leave. On the other hand, I feel really good about the position of the program,’ Maggard said at the press conference. ‘There is so much potential here.’

Potential which, without Maggard’s nurturing during his time at the University, would have gone unrealized.

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