COLLEGE PARK (5/14/20) — Veteran journalist, professor, author and lawyer Mark Hyman has been named the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s inaugural George Solomon Endowed Chair in Sports Journalism, Dean Lucy A. Dalglish announced Thursday.
He will direct the college’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and teach sports journalism classes. His first day will be July 1, when he replaces Povich Center founding director George Solomon, who retires June 30.
“Mark has an exciting vision for the future of the Povich Center during a time of great transition for journalism and sports,” Dalglish said. “He is a smart and thoughtful leader who brings the kind of wide-ranging experience that will benefit our students and build on George’s extraordinary legacy.”
Hyman joins Merrill College after more than four decades as a sports journalist and seven years serving as a Professor of Sport Management at The George Washington University School of Business.
At GWU, he taught courses in Sport Law, Sport Media and Communication, Sport Video Production and Editing, and Sport Globalization. He also moderated The GW Business of Sports Podcast.
Hyman’s long sports journalism career includes stops at Businessweek, The Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore News American, the Dallas Times Herald, The Bulletin (Philadelphia) and The Ledger-Star (Norfolk, Virginia).
He covered such stories as SMU football’s pay-for-play scandal that resulted in the NCAA “death penalty,” the death of UMD basketball great Len Bias, the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the sale of the Baltimore Orioles in federal bankruptcy court and the Orioles’ 1999 goodwill exhibition in Cuba.
“I’m excited to be following George and joining Professor of the Practice Kevin Blackistone,” Hyman said. “They’ve done so much to establish the Povich Center as a thought leader on social, cultural and economic issues touching sport. I’ll be contributing my vision and strategic thinking. The goal always is to advance the Center and its mission.
“Each experience informs my thinking about the future of the Center. How do we engage students and prepare them for jobs? What will be the subject of the next Povich Symposium? We’re storytellers. How do we tell our story to parents, alumni and friends?”
Hyman is also an author who has published multiple books on youth sports, and has contributed to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and TIME.com.
He is currently working on a documentary film, “The Great China Baseball Hunt,” about Major League Baseball’s plan to develop a Chinese major leaguer.
“Mark has been an innovator and mentor throughout a career of great depth and broad experience, from sports and investigative reporting to authoring books on youth sports and concussions, to documentary filmmaking, to podcasting and to teaching,” said Capital News Service Managing Director Marty Kaiser, who led the Solomon Chair search committee. “He is an extraordinary listener who cares deeply about students and colleagues. I look forward to CNS working with Mark and the Povich Center.”
Named for late Washington Post sports writer and columnist Shirley Povich, the Povich Center was established in 2011 under the directorship of Solomon.
The Povich Center serves Merrill College students and professional journalists, as well as the university and greater community through its panels, workshops and support of the college’s academic offerings, as well as research and analysis.
The Center serves as a launching pad for UMD students to learn, actively participate in and develop the journalistic skills they need to meet the challenges of new media that face the next generation of sports journalists.
The George Solomon Endowed Chair in Sports Journalism is funded by the generosity of more than 130 alumni and friends of the Center, led by a $1 million matching gift from the Povich family. Endowed chairs at universities are typically donor-funded faculty positions.
“The Povich family is very excited about Mark Hyman coming to Merrill College as the director of the Povich Center,” Maury Povich said. “Mark has had a distinguished writing and teaching career. He has long supported the Center and is the perfect person to carry on our father’s and George Solomon’s legacy. We applaud the choice and look forward to working with Mark on his vision for the future of the Center.”
Hyman earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and completed his Juris Doctorate degree at the University of Maryland in 1995. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, Peggy Brennecke. They have two grown children, Ben and Eli.