UMBC Athletics Staff Bios
UMBC’s Dr. Charles Brown was promoted to Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski announced on Friday, June 17, 2011.
"We are all very proud of Dr. Brown’s stellar career as Director of Athletics over the past two decades," Dr. Hrabowski said. "He has led the program with both enthusiasm and integrity, and, most importantly, our student-athletes are succeeding athletically and academically."
The Brooklyn, N.Y., native will begin his 23rd year at UMBC this September and is the longest-tenured AD in the state of Maryland. He has transformed UMBC Athletics from a struggling Division-I program to one which has fared quite well regionally and nationally for the past decade.
Dr. Brown has championed UMBC Athletics' enhanced profile by positioning the Retrievers within appropriate levels of competition. One of his first tasks was to move UMBC into a Division-I conference, which he completed in 1989-89, his first year with the university, as the Retrievers joined the East Coast Conference. UMBC won the league's President's Cup in its second conference season, but the league folded shortly thereafter. Dr. Brown was able to move UMBC into the Big South Conference the following year (1992) and successfully positioned UMBC into a much better geographic fit when the Retrievers joined the Northeast Conference in 1998. He also helped to initiate the ECAC (Men's) Lacrosse League in 1999, and most recently, Dr. Brown engineered UMBC Athletics' move to a strong and improving mid-major conference, the America East Conference in 2003.
Over the past decade, Retriever teams have won 46 league championships and made 29 appearances in NCAA Championship competition. In all five years of league play in the NEC, UMBC was awarded the Commissioner's Cup, symbolic of the conference's top overall program. In 2002, UMBC produced its first national champion, as Cleopatra Borel won the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
UMBC has adjusted well to life in the America East Conference with a fourth-place or higher finish in the conference’s Commissioner’s Cup race in five of the last seven years. The athletic department just experienced its most celebrated year-long period in school history with the school’s first-ever men’s and women’s basketball conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, sweeps in back-to-back years in the America East men’s and women’s swimming and diving championships, a conference title and NCAA appearance by men’s tennis and an NCAA Tournament win over Maryland and a third straight national tournament appearance by the men’s lacrosse team.
UMBC's student-athletes have excelled in the classroom, as well as the playing fields. In the last ten years, 30 student-athletes have earned Academic All-America status, and more than 54% of Retriever student-athletes are earning 3.0 or higher grade-point averages. Moreover, UMBC’s student-athletes graduate at a rate which is more than 10 percent higher than the university rate and the Retrievers’ NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) are also considerably above the national averages.
Dr. Brown has increased the full-time faculty and staff of the athletic department from 23 full-time employees at his arrival to 63 currently. There were only 13 full-time coaches (nine head, four assistant) upon Dr. Brown's arrival; now there are 32 (14 head, 18 assistant) to ensure the Retrievers' success on and off the playing fields. New positions were created in Marketing and Promotions, Fund Raising, Facilities & Operations, Business Administration, Community Service, Strength and Conditioning, Athletic Communications, Sports Medicine and Academic Services. He also initiated the UMBC Dance Team, the Down and Dirty Dawg Band and the newly-reinstated cheerleading squad.
Dramatic increases in the department’s entrepreneurial efforts have been implemented to support UMBC’s student-athletes. UMBC Athletics received $5,403 in gifts in the first year of Dr. Brown's tenure. In contrast, over the last several years, UMBC Athletics has brought in an average of 1.25 million dollars per year via fund raising, corporate sponsorships and other entrepreneurial efforts.
Starting from scratch in the 1990’s, Dr. Brown developed a club sport program which has evolved into a 25-sport, 750-student program today.
In the area of community service, UMBC student-athletes currently donate more than 1,000 hours of time per year to mentor local elementary and middle school students, and 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 has improved the visibility of UMBC in many ways. In the spring of 1995, he made a bold move as he brought the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships to the Baltimore Arena. Sellout crowds put Baltimore in the national spotlight for one glorious March week. In the spring of 1998, UMBC hosted the Women's Lacrosse National Championships at UMBC Stadium, drawing record crowds and kudos from the national media. Dr. Brown also led the successful bid to bring the highly successful Men's Lacrosse National Championships to M&T Bank Stadium in 2003, 2004 and 2007, where all existing attendance attendance records were shattered.
He has spearheaded the university's rapid enhancement of athletic and recreational facilities during his tenure. Lights were added to UMBC Stadium in 1992, and the region's finest outdoor aquatic complex was unveiled in the summer of 1996. Just a few months later, UMBC added a national-class track and field complex and replaced its main stadium field with an all-weather artificial surface. In the fall of 1999, the department moved into the Retriever Activities Center, which doubled the size of its existing indoor facility and provided all students with the top-of -the-line in recreational facilities. Baseball's "Alumni Field" was improved during Dr. Brown’s tenure, with the addition of permanent seating and was later renamed The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC in a dedication ceremony following the addition of lights to the field in 2005. UMBC Soccer Stadium was constructed in 1999 and a new Bermuda grass surface, the only one of its kind in the conference, was dedicated in 2006. Chairback seating and a video display scoreboard were added to the arena in 2000. Lights were added to the tennis complex in 2005 and the courts were resurfaced and outfitted with Retriever wind screens. Field turf was added to the stadium in 2005 and a new five-million dollar stadium locker room complex was completed in the spring of 2008.
Dr. Brown's impact has been felt beyond The Loop as well. He has served two terms as president of the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and served a term on the NCAA Division-I Championships/Competition Cabinet, where he influenced other directors to increase student-athlete participation in NCAA Championship competition. Dr. Brown is also currently on the board of the Howard County tennis patrons.
He is the fourth person to hold the position of athletic director on a permanent basis in the 41-year history of 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.
Currently residing in Ellicott City, Md., with his wife, Linda, Dr. Brown, received 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. The couple has two daughters, Melissa, an attorney, and Michelle, an elementary school teacher, and the Browns have four grandchildren.