MILWAUKEE, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Bill Cords, the athletic director who revived sports at Marquette University in Wisconsin, announced his retirement Tuesday.
Cords plans to leave Dec. 31 after 19 years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
"Bill Cords is a man of integrity and class," said the Rev. Robert Wild, Marquette's president. "His concern for our student athletes and his attention to their needs both on and off the court have helped create athletic programs that are not only successful in terms of wins and losses but, most importantly, are successful in helping young men and women succeed well as students and as human beings."
Cords came to Marquette in 1987. He said his first meeting with coaches was a shock because he had always been associated with teams that had at least a 50-50 chance of winning.
"They didn't have that and they were angry, they were frustrated, they were hurt," he said.
Cords brought Marquette's basketball program back to national prominence, including affiliation with the Big East and a trip to the Final Four in 2003. He put other sports on a solid footing while graduating most of his players and avoiding NCAA violations.