Dr. William P. Hytche (pictured) served as president of UMES for over two decades

Nov. 1, 2013

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore athletics program is pleased to announce that its first featured Hall of Fame member to be spotlighted in 50 Shades of Maroon and Gray is William P. Hytche. The spotlight on Hytche begins UMES' countdown to the 2014 Hall of Fame induction on Feb. 14. He is the first of 50 Hall of Fame members to highlighted over the next three months.

UMES and Hawk athletics is what it is today because of William P. Hytche.

The highly educated Hytche was originally known as chief executive and chancellor, but a 1988 state law that realigned Maryland's public college system changed his status to President. He spent 36 years working for the University, 21 of which were as the top administrator. During his tenure at UMES, he was a big advocate of Hawk athletics. He saw many UMES Hall of Fame inductees walk the halls in such names as Art Shell, Marshall Cropper, Carl Hairston, and Ira Smith.

He seized every opportunity to make the institution a better place and was rewarded with having the William P. Hytche Athletic Center named after him in 1996. The W.P. Hytche Athletic center seats 5,500 people and hosts the UMES men's and women's basketball teams and volleyball team. It features a workout gym, pool, track and numerous locker rooms and offices.

The Oklahoma native helped the school add 32 academic programs and triple in size to over 3,000 students. Hytche started teaching mathematics, before serving as chair of the department and then eventually as chancellor (president) of the school. He may have come to UMES as just a mathematics instructor, but by the time he left, he was nothing short of a legend.

"Dr. Hytche really made students feel welcome," said Assistant Softball Coach Allen Davenport. "He would walk around the campus and talk with all of us. He was always at the athletic events too. He even invited me to eat dinner at his table with him and his family."

He was inducted into the UMES Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012, five years after he had passed away in Princess Anne in 2007 at the age of 78. 

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