Charlie Titus, the pioneer of UMass Boston’s athletic program, announced Friday he will retire at the end of June after 40 years as the university’s athletic leader.
Titus, who is vice chancellor of athletics and recreation, was the school’s first athletic director in the late 1970s and helped shape UMass Boston into the NCAA Division 3 program it is today.
“He took us from the club level all the way to the highest level of Division 3," said Brendan Eygabroat, who has coached UMass Boston’s baseball team for 17 years. “The department is night and day since when I started, and I think Charlie’s leadership guided us.
"We’ve been to the College World Series, the Frozen Four, the volleyball Elite Eight, and we’ve been one of the most successful departments in New England over the last decade.”
The Roxbury native and Boston Technical High School graduate became coach of UMass Boston’s men’s club basketball team in 1974 before making it an NCAA varsity program in 1980. Titus guided the men’s basketball program for 35 years, stepping down in 2015 after compiling 317 wins, two Little East Conference Coach of the Year awards, and a selection into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
As athletic director, Titus established the Youth Education and Sports with Africa program, which combines basketball with education about technology, cultural heritage, and health issues in four countries in West Africa. Recently, he partnered with neighboring Boston College High School to build Monan Park, the Beacons’ first home baseball field.
Titus is also a founding father of the Little East Conference, in which 16 of the school’s 18 varsity athletic teams play. In 2012, he was enshrined in the inaugural LEC Hall of Fame class.