University of Maryland president Wallace Loh will retire in June, he announced Tuesday, confirming multiple media reports from earlier in the afternoon.
“Since I arrived on this campus in October of 2010, I have had the honor and the pleasure of working alongside some of the most impressive faculty, staff, students alumni and friends of the university to advance our beloved flagship institution,” Loh said at Tuesday’s Board of Regents press conference in Baltimore. “For me, the job of president is more than a job. It’s a calling to service, and it’s a calling that I believe is larger than simply having a job. ... I’m proud of the shared legacy that has been created, and I will have more to say about that at a later time.
“For now, I’m focused on helping to navigate this great institution through the storm, and I will be focused on leading the flagship to continued success and to a smooth transition in leadership.”
Loh praised Evans during Tuesday’s press conference, calling him “one of the best athletic directors in the country.” He did not mention Durkin by name. Multiple reports indicate Loh wanted Maryland to move on from Durkin, but faced pressure from the Board of Regents to keep the head coach.
Loh has been the president at the University of Maryland since 2010, and his tenure has marked a turbulent time for Terrapin athletics. Loh took over the position in November; as acting president, he hired Kevin Anderson as athletic director in September. A month later, Anderson fired football coach Ralph Friedgen despite a 9-4 season and ultimately replaced him with Randy Edsall. In five seasons at Maryland, Edsall went just 22-34 before being fired in October 2015 and replaced by Durkin.
Just a few months after Edsall was hired, legendary basketball coach Gary Williams resigned and Mark Turgeon was hired to take over the program. Results have been inconsistent, and portions of the fan base have vocally opposed Turgeon at multiple points in his tenure. He’s entering a pivotal 2018-19 after missing the postseason last year.
Loh’s final major hire was Evans, who had been interim AD for eight months before being taking the permanent job in June, less than two weeks after McNair’s death. A search firm hired by Loh—who had a long-standing positive relationship with Evans—named Temple AD Patrick Kraft and former Tennessee AD John Currie as the other two finalists for the position.
Loh also had to help Anderson guide the university through some large financial changes. In November 2011, Loh announced the university was cutting eight varsity sports to help balance the athletic department’s budget, and seven sports were eventually cut the following year. Then in November 2012, Loh announced that Maryland was moving to the Big Ten after being a founding member of the ACC in an attempt to bring more money into the university’s athletic department.
After moving to the Big Ten, Loh announced Cole Field House would be renovated into a new headquarters for the football team and become a hub for sports medicine and entrepreneurship. The project was originally supposed to cost $155 million, but the university announced last year that the cost had risen $196 million due to the scope of the project.
As it turns out, he won’t be in the position to see that project—or any of the major changes on campus—to completion.
Loh released a statement after Tuesday’s press conference. “There is much to do before I go,” he said at the letter’s conclusion. “Today, I will simply get back to work.”