Abby Day


Ohio athletic programs see improvement since 2004

Charlie Hatch / Sports Editor

He was a fixture in The Convo and the Peden Stadium locker room. Now, the only time Roderick McDavis will be in either place will be his legacy.

As McDavis retires as president, his time at Ohio University sporting events has ended, too. His final basketball game was last Tuesday’s loss to Central Michigan.

But regardless of wins and losses, McDavis — overall — has actively transformed Ohio athletics into one of the premier schools in the Mid-American Conference.


Before Solich, OU only had two winning seasons in the previous 22 years. That changed.

During his 12 seasons, the Bobcats have won the MAC East Division four times, leading to four conference championship game appearances, including in 2016. Ohio still has not won the MAC since 1968.

The football team also won its first bowl game in program history in 2011.

Men’s basketball

The basketball program has seen success under McDavis, particularly in 2012 when the Bobcats won the MAC Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio also made the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2010.

Maurice Ndour, who played for Ohio from 2013 to 2015, now plays for the New York Knicks as the only former OU player on an NBA regular season roster since 2005.

Women’s basketball

The women’s program has never been better. When coach Bob Boldon inherited the program, Ohio was coming off its worst season in program history. Now in his fourth season, the past two years rank first and second in program history for wins.

In both years Ohio won the MAC regular season title, and in 2014-15, the Bobcats also won the MAC Tournament and appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Four of the top six seasons in terms of total wins have come since McDavis became president.


Ohio has made the NCAA Tournament as recently as 2014, and the Bobcats appeared in the conference championship game last season. They were also the preseason pick to win the MAC in 2017.


After the worst season in program history in 2014, Ohio won the MAC in 2015 and appeared in the NCAA Tournament.

Former conference MVP Mitch Longo was the most recent Ohio player taken in the MLB Draft after being selected by the Cleveland Indians in 2016.


Volleyball has arguably been the most successful sport at Ohio since McDavis arrived. Since 2004, the Bobcats have had the conference MVP eight times, with Abby Gilleland being the most recent in 2013 and 2014.

Additionally, since 2004, Ohio has appeared in the NCAA Championship nine times, advancing to the Regional Semifinal in 2005.

Ohio’s most recent MAC championship came in 2015.

Cross Country

Juli Accurso, the best runner in Ohio history, was the first runner in MAC history to win three-consecutive conference titles as an individual in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Additionally, she was named the Great Lakes Regional Runner of the Year her final two seasons.

Jim Schaus

The majority of praise for Ohio’s resurgence in athletics goes to Jim Schaus, the university’s director of Athletics since 2008. While teams have performed well, Schaus took a $2.3 million annual deficit and helped the university profit in two years, according to the Athletic Department website. In August 2016, he signed a five-year extension with the university to continue his position.  

Four sports cut

While Schaus has brought stability, OU did cut four varsity programs prior to his arrival. In 2007, the university cut men’s indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse and swimming.

Development by: Hannah Debenham / Digital Production Editor

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The McDavis Issue

OU President Roderick McDavis is leaving February 17. The Post looks back at his time as Ohio's president. Click this box to read the rest of the stories from this issue.