The University of Maryland athletic department had a cash surplus of $378,000 at the end of fiscal year 1978 (June 30), retiring Athletic Director Jim Kehoe said yesterday.

In addition, the Maryland Educational Foundation, the department's fund-raising arm, has more than $1 million in its bank account after paying $630,000 of last season's $670,000 scholarship bill June 30, according to Tom Fields, foundation director.

According to the NCAA, only 3 percent of the nation's college athletic programs are profitable. When Kehoe took over as athletic director in 1969, the program was more than $200,000 in debt and the foundation's annual contributions were $29,000.

The foundation failed to reach its fund-raising goal ($800,000) last year for the first time in the Kehoe-Fields regime. But the foundation generated $828,000 in revenues, including $90,000 in interest from investments, Fields said.

"I guess that's acceptable with what went on this year," said Fields, referring to Maryland's 8-4 record in football and 15-12 record in men's basketball, the two revenue-producing sports.

The $378,000 surplus includes $321,000 carried over from fiscal year 1977, when the Terp football team played in the Cotton Bowl and the athletic department showed a $190,000 profit for the year. Last year's profit was $57,000, Kehoe said.

The athletic department, not including fund-raising, generated revenues of $3,150,000 for fiscal year 1978, Kehoe said.

He cited four major sources of income: mandatory student fees of approximately $1 million, football gate receipts ($683,000), basketball gate receipts ($292,000), and bowl receipts plus Maryland's share of NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference television packages and tournaments ($699,000).

The remaining $500,000 of income was generated through the university's golf course ($225,000), concessions $75,000), plus advertising on scoreboards and programs, interest on endowment funds and interest on investments (total $200,000).

When Carl James, executive director of the Sugar Bowl and former Duke athletic director, was named two weeks ago to succeed Kehoe, he said his No. 1 priority to increase revenues was selling more full-priced football tickets.

The athletic department books bear out James.

Maryland's football gate receipts in fiscal 1977 - the Cotton Bowl year in which the Terps were 11-0 in the regular season - were $564,000. Maryland's bowl and television revenue in football that year were $648,000.

Of the current surplus, Kehoe already has set aside $240,000 for two capital improvements: a small gym addition to the football building for winter conditioning ($150,000) and improvement in Ellicott Hall where most athletes live ($90,000).

Under NCAA rules, athletes cannot be given anything not offered to a regular student. So, the university will renovate all of the Ellicott Hall dorm, with the athletic department paying about 40 percent of the cost.

Maryland spent $338,000 on women's athletics last year, Kehoe said. That figure includes $169,000 in scholarships and $169,000 in operating expenses.

Maryland's budget for women's sports in fiscal year 1979, which started July 1, is $500,000, including scholarship costs, Kehoe said.

Kehoe also said that Maryland receives little cash in its advertising and promotion deals. Such arrangement are made with the Safeway food chain and Coca Cola among other national advertisers.

"We don't get a lot of dollars in cash from the advertisers," Kehoe said, "but we get a lot of free publicity. We couldn't pay for the amount of publicity we need to fight off the Redskins, Bullets, Dips and what have you."