|Sport(s)||Track and field|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
ACC javelin throw (1966)
Richard "Dick" Dull (born c. 1945) is an American former athletic director and athlete. He served as the athletic director of the University of Maryland from 1981 to 1986, including during the death of Len Bias, which prompted Dull's resignation. He has also been athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Moravian College, California State University, Northridge, and Belmont Abbey College.
Early life and college
Dull attended Biglerville High School in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, where he played basketball and competed in track and field in the javelin throw event. As a sophomore, he won the state championship. He suffered a serious injury to his elbow ligament, but recovered and finished as a runner-up in the state championship during his senior year in 1963. As of 2008, he still held the school's record at 198 feet and 6 inches.
Dull attended college at the University of Maryland, where he continued competing in the javelin throw at the intercollegiate level. As a senior in 1966, he won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in the event at 223 feet and 3.5 inches. That year, he also placed in the top-ten in the NCAA event.
After receiving a law degree, he took a pay cut from $22,000 to $8,500 and became an assistant ticket manager at his alma mater. He rose through the ranks of the Maryland athletic department and became athletic director in 1981, succeeding Jim Kehoe. In January 1982, Dull hired Bobby Ross to succeed Jerry Claiborne as the school's head football coach. The hire was somewhat surprising as Ross, then an assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, was not a high-profile coach. Ross described himself as a "no name". Nevertheless, Maryland had great success under Ross, and quarterback Boomer Esiason excelled in his pro-style offense.
During Dull's tenure, the Maryland football and men's basketball teams both secured ACC championships, and the women's basketball team advanced to the Final Four. Dull was serving as athletic director when Maryland basketball star Len Bias died from a cocaine-induced heart attack in 1986. He resigned his post on November 4 citing the incident. He agreed to remain on the staff for one year as an athletic and policy advisor.
Bias' death and the controversy it created affected Dull. The Baltimore Sun called Dull "one of the rising stars" in his profession at the time of the incident. Dull later said, "I survived it. No one can ever bring Len Bias back, and that I regret. He was a wonderful young man." In 1987, the University of Texas at El Paso offered Dull a job as its athletic director, but he eventually declined the offer. In the decade following Bias' death, Dull worked in real estate, consulting, and lived off of his savings. In two years during that period, he earned less than $7,500, which was less than required to file an income tax return. He said, "I could not get a job interview (in athletics) for 10 years."
In 1996, he was a candidate for athletic director at Radford University. That year, he was hired as the athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, a Division II school. In 1999 while the athletic director at Moravian College, he was hired by California State University, Northridge, his first Division I athletic director job since Maryland. The hiring was controversial, and some members of the university's advisory board demanded it be reviewed and overturned. In 2001, Northridge dropped its football program on Dull's recommendation to the Board of Trustees. He stepped down in 2005.
Dull eventually retired, but returned to his work as the athletic director of Belmont Abbey College in June 2007. In 2008, he established an athletic hall of fame at the school. In August 2009, Dull resigned from Belmont Abbey with a statement that he had been hired for a transition to a full-time athletic director and that the transition period had elapsed.
- Maryland' Dull resigns, cites Bias incident, The Palm Beach Post, October 8, 1986.
- Biglerville: Catching up with Dick Dull, The Daily Record-Sunday News, November 18, 2008.
- New Javelin Record Is Set By Dick Dull, The Gettysburg Times, April 22, 1963.
- Men's ACC Outdoor Honors, University of Maryland, retrieved July 25, 2010.
- Dull touted for Kehoe's UM post, The Baltimore Sun, June 9, 1981.
- K.C. aide Ross to be Terps' grid coach, The Baltimore Sun, January 12, 1982.
- Bobby Ross: 'no name' no longer, The Baltimore Sun, November 28, 1982.
- Champion of the underdog, Time Herald-Record, August 8, 2004.
- Bias' death altered lives; Decade: Ten years later, the lives of those who knew him are still not the same, The Baltimore Sun, June 19, 1996.
- Texas-El Paso Offers Maryland's Dull Job As Athletic Director, The Washington Post, May 22, 1987.
- Dull Rejects Offer From Texas-El Paso Gives Chancellor's Departure as Reason, The Washington Post, May 23, 1987.
- AD SEARCH CONTINUING AT RADFORD, The Roanoke Times, May 1, 1996.
- SEVERAL LIVES WERE CHANGED WHEN BIAS LOST HIS, The Boston Globe, June 30, 1996.
- DULL TO STEER CSUN SPORTS; `HEALING WOUNDS,' BUDGET TOP AGENDA, Daily News (Los Angeles), May 27, 1999.
- ARIAS SUPPORTERS WANT REVIEW, Daily News (Los Angeles), June 9, 1999.
- ARIAS SUPPORTERS REQUEST OVERTURN OF HIRING, Daily News (Los Angeles), June 10, 1999.
- ABBEY HIRES NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, DICK DULL FORMERLY HELD SAME POSITION AT MARYLAND 1981-86, Charlotte Observer, June 28, 2007.
- DULL QUITS AS HEAD OF CSUN ATHLETICS, Daily News (Los Angeles), July 22, 2005.
- Belmont Abbey to start Athletics Hall of Fame, Gaston Gazette, September 16, 2008.
- A.D. Dull leaving Belmont Abbey as school year starts (UPDATE), Gaston Gazette, August 19, 2009.