HOUSTON (AP) -Ron Cottrell stepped down as Houston Baptist's athletic director on Tuesday to concentrate on his role as men's basketball coach as the school moves toward full membership in NCAA Division I.
The university said Cottrell would become associate athletic director and Steve Moniaci, who has been associate athletic director, would be interim athletic director until a successor is named.
Cottrell has been athletic director for the past 15 years and the basketball coach for 19 years.
School president Robert Sloan said he and Cottrell had often discussed that he would need to choose either to be athletic director or basketball coach because of the responsibility of the NCAA membership.
The school had been affiliated with the NAIA since 1991 and applied to become a provisional NCAA member in March 2007.
The university said the NCAA accepted the application and it expected to gain full membership within three years. The school filed state and federal lawsuits when the NCAA informed the school that it would have to wait seven years, not three.
NCAA settled with the school and it will have the chance to become an active Division I member for the 2011-12 academic year.

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