Dr. Charles Brown has announced he will retire as Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation at UMBC as of June 30, 2013, completing a 24-year tenure that has elevated the Retrievers from a fledgling Division-I program to one that is competitive regionally and nationally in a range of sports.
“Dr. Brown has done a masterful job of building a strong and balanced Division-I athletic program at UMBC, with special emphasis on both academic performance and healthy competition,” said Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC. “The entire UMBC community appreciates all that he has done to build an even stronger UMBC.”
Over the past 15 years, UMBC teams have won 46 conference championships and made 29 appearances in NCAA Championship competition. For five consecutive years (1998-2003), UMBC was named the top overall program in the Northeast Conference, and it has consistently ranked as a top-four program in the America East Conference, since joining in 2003. During that same period, 36 Retriever athletes earned Academic All-America status and student-athletes had consistently high graduation rates.
In addition to his work on behalf of student-athletes, Dr. Brown has promoted healthfulness and spirit throughout the UMBC community, from developing robust recreational programs to helping to create the UMBC Alma Mater. The Retriever program under his leadership also has been actively involved in the local community and was recognized by the NCAA for its commitment to service.
Dr. Brown led a period of substantial growth for the athletics department, including the development of a club sport program and rapid enhancement of athletic and recreational facilities. Under his leadership, the Retriever Activities Center was redeveloped and the outdoor aquatic complex, Retriever Soccer Park and a national-class track and field complex were constructed.
While growing the Retriever program, Dr. Brown also worked to raise UMBC’s profile regionally and nationally, including serving two terms as president of the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and one term on the NCAA Division-I Championships/Competition Cabinet. He also helped bring a number of national championships to UMBC and to Baltimore, including the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships in 1995; the Women's Lacrosse National Championships in 1998; and the Men's Lacrosse National Championships in2003, 2004 and 2007.
"I am thankful for the opportunity given to me by Dr. Hooker in 1989 and for the continued support of the administration to develop a first-class department that includes athletics, physical education and recreation,” Dr. Brown said. “It was a life’s dream of mine to be a Division-I athletic director and be at a campus. I’ve watched UMBC grow in so many ways and I am glad that we have been a part of the success of this university. I wish the program continued success in the future."
Following his retirement as Director of Athletics, Dr. Brown will join the UMBC Division of Professional Studies, where he will work with others to explore opportunities related to Sports Management.
Additional Information About Dr. Brown’s Record at UMBC
Dr. Brown is the fourth person to hold the position of Athletic Director on a permanent basis at UMBC. W. Richard Mentzer served from 1966-68, followed by E. Richard Watts, Jr., who directed the program from 1968-1985. Rick Hartzell led UMBC into Division I athletics in the fall of 1985, prior to Dr. Brown’s arrival in June of 1989.
Highlights on the field during his tenure include:
§ 1989: Dr. Brown arrives at UMBC and secures a place for the university in its first NCAA Division I conference, the East Coast Conference (1990-92).
§ 1992: The baseball team becomes UMBC’s first squad to reach an NCAA Division I Tournament and competes valiantly, dropping a 3-1 decision at No. 1 Miami.
§ 1995: UMBC hosts the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships at the Baltimore (First Mariner) Arena.
§ 1998: UMBC hosts the national semifinals and championship game of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championships.
§ 1998: The men’s lacrosse program earns its first trip (of six) to the NCAA Tournament at the Division I level.
§ 1999: The men’s soccer program (19-1-1) produces the best record in the nation and competes in its first of three (2010, 2012) NCAA Tournaments.
§ 2002: UMBC produced its first national champion, as Cleopatra Borel won the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. She would go on to compete in three Olympic Games.
§ 2003: UMBC joins the America East Conference and is currently celebrating its tenth year in the league. 2003: The men’s swimming and diving team wins the Retrievers’ first league title, starting a streak of eight championships in a row for Chad Cradock’s men’s squad.
§ 2007: The women’s basketball team advances to its first NCAA Division I Tournament.
§ 2008: The men’s basketball team advances to its first NCAA Division I Tournament and the men’s lacrosse team advances to the NCAA Division I Tournament quarterfinals.
Enhancement of athletic and recreational facilities during his tenure include:
§ 1992: Lights were added to UMBC Stadium.
§ 1996: The region's finest outdoor aquatic complex was unveiled in the summer.
§ 1996: UMBC added a national-class track and field complex and replaced its main stadium field with an all-weather artificial surface.
§ 1999: In the fall, the department moved into the Retriever Activities Center, which doubled the size of its existing indoor facility and expanded recreational facilities for all students, faculty and staff.
§ 1999: Retriever Soccer Park was constructed. (In 2006, a new Bermuda grass surface, the only one of its kind in the conference, was dedicated.)
§ 2000: Chairback seating and a video display scoreboard were added to the RAC Arena.
§ 2005: Lights were added to the tennis complex and the courts were resurfaced and outfitted with Retriever wind screens.
§ 2005: Field turf was added to the stadium.
§ 2005: Baseball's "Alumni Field" was improved with the addition of permanent seating and lights to the field.
§ 2008: A new stadium locker room complex was completed in the spring.
Growth of the program during his tenure include:
§ There were only 13 full-time coaches (nine head, four assistant) upon Dr. Brown's arrival; now there are 31 (14 head, 17 assistant).
§ New positions also were created in Marketing and Promotions, Fund Raising, Facilities & Operations, Business Administration, Community Service, Strength and Conditioning, Athletic Communications, Sports Medicine and Academic Services.
§ The UMBC Dance Team and the Down and Dirty Dawg Band were created and the cheerleading squad was reinstated.
§ A club sport program was built from scratch. Today, it has evolved into a 25-sport, 750-student program.
Community service during his tenure include:
§ UMBC student-athletes currently donate more than 1,000 hours of time per year to mentor local elementary and middle school students.
§ Coaches make hundreds of appearances in the community throughout the year.
§ The program was recognized by The NCAA News as one of the finest in the country.
Dr. Brown is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native and resides in Ellicott City, Md., with his wife, Linda, who is the Associate Director for the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research at UMBC. Hereceived his B.S. degree from Long Island University in 1967 and earned an M.S. from Brooklyn College in 1969 and a Doctorate in Physical Education from Springfield College in 1980.