ORONO (AP) — University of Maine Athletic Director Blake James is leaving the school to take a job at the University of Miami.

The university said Tuesday that James will serve as senior associate athletic director for external affairs at the Florida school. He will leave in early September.

James came to Maine in 2003 and became athletic director in 2005.

He previously worked at Miami from 1998 to 2001. He has also held positions at the University of Nebraska and Providence College.

“Blake has done an outstanding job managing the UMaine athletic department, and we will miss him,” UMaine President Robert Kennedy said in a press release from the school. “He has responded to significant challenges by making tough decisions and maintaining focus on the appropriate priorities, especially the academic success of our student-athletes, which has been exceptional during his tenure.”

“While overseeing a competitive Division I program,” Kennedy said, “Blake has built a strong foundation for future Black Bear athletic success.”

At Miami, James will serve as senior associate athletic director for external affairs.

“I truly appreciate the opportunity I have been given here at UMaine,” James said. “My family and I have enjouyed our time here immensely and we will always treasure our experience as part of the UMaine community. At the same time, a return to Miami in this role represents a personal and professional opportunity that is too good to pass up.”

Black Bear teams have qualified for NCAA tournament play in football, men’s hockey and baseball during James’ UMaine tenure.

Changes in UMaine athletics during James’ time included development of a statewide television and radio network, and facility improvements, including the Mahaney

Dome, the Alfond Arena video scoreboard, a new field hockey complex and new surfaces on Morse Field and Mahaney Diamond.

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