University of Delaware AD to step down

 UD Athletic Director Eric Ziady will leave his post at the end of the year (UD photo)

UD Athletic Director Eric Ziady will leave his post at the end of the year (UD photo)

UD Athletic Director Eric Ziady will leave the job he’s held for about three years at the end of 2015.

Ziady brought big changes at UD’s Newark campus since arriving in October 2012. “Eric Ziady has been committed to the comprehensive success of our student-athletes,” Interim UD President Nancy Targett said. “He has oveseen major improvements to athletic and recreation facilities that will serve all students on our campus for years to come.”

Among those facility improvements, Ziady oversaw the completion of an 18,000 sq. ft. addition to the Carpenter Sports Building at a cost of $25 million. The school also resurfaced the Delaware Field House with Astroturf and added upgrades at the Bob Hannah Baseball Stadium. New turf practice fields were installed as well as an all-weather outdoor track.

According to the university, athletics fundraising saw a big increase under Ziady’s watch. Due in part to an increase in alumni outreach, fundraising for athletics surpassed the $4 million mark, an increase of 91 percent from 2013.

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The biggest personnel change made under Ziady’s tenure was the release of K.C. Keeler as football head coach. Keeler was fired in January 2013, just months after Ziady’s arrival in Newark. Keeler, who played linebacker at UD from 1978-80, had led the football program since 2002. Under Keeler, the Blue Hens won one national title and made it to the national championship game three times. Keeler was replaced by Dave Brock, who has led the Hens to a 17-18 record in three seasons with no post-season appearances.

UD professor and director of the school’s Sport Management Program, Matthew Robinson, will take over as acting athletic director. A search for a permanent replacement will begin early next year.

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