July 10, 1997The University of the District of Columbia will reinstate its athletic program this fall. Students agreed to a $50 per semester increase in fees to resurrect a program which was cancelled in January.
With the announcement, men's baskeball coach Wil Jones was named athletic director. Jones led the Firebirds to a Division II national basketball championship in 1982. He will continue as head basketball and supervise seven other sports at the institution.
Jones indicated that the athletic staff had taken a 40% paycut in order to reduce the budget of the department. All coaches except women's basketball coach Brit King and volleyball coach Mary Phillips are expected to return this fall. King recently was hired as head women's basketball coach at Coppin State.
UDC will field teams in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, men's soccer and women's volleyball.
The resurrection was possible as a result of a student vote in April. During the elections, students agreed to increase their athletic fees to $75 per semester to help finance the athletic program. The measure passed by a 68% margin.
The school's Board of Trustees formally approved the reinstatement during its June meeting.