This week, Jim Hindman, 43, removed his Western Maryland College football cap, temporarily ceased preaching like his hero, Vince Lombardi, closed up his coach's office and returned the salary he earned in a 7-1-1 season to the school athletic program.

For the next eight months, Hindman, a self-made millionaire, will wear expensive suits, work out of his plush Randallstown office, drive a Cadillac Fleetwood and shuttle about the Midwest overseeing his chain of nursing homes, a solid-waste company, his consultant firm and real estate investments.

"At first, when I was in health care - as administrator at Baltimore General Hospital, director of medical administration at John F. Kennedy Space Center and administrative assistant at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City - I got satisfaction from it because I felt I was helping people," Hindman recalled.

"But when the government started to regulate everything in the health field, I lost the feeling of being needed. I had already made some money in my own business so I started to look for a strong, central theme I could dedicate my life to and prove that the free enterprise system in this great country could work," he said.

Hindman chose what he has always loved most: football.

He began in 1971 with a Randallstown Optimist Little League team. In three years, he coached the youngsters to two state championships and a 33-1 record.

In 1974, he joined the Community College of Baltimore as the football team's defensive coordinator. "I love defense," said Hindman who played linebacker and center at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.

Two years later, at the urging of a friend, he agreed to become assistant defensive coach at Western Maryland, and last year he took over as head coach.

Although Hindman just guided the Green Terrors to their best season in 15 years, he remembers that two years ago, things were different.

"The team had little training equipment and unsuitable sports facilities," he said." There is no special consideration for football players at Western Maryland - no athletic scholarships . . . bricks and mortar are the last consideration. The stadium, a dirt and grass-patched field with decrepit concrete and wod stands, was downright depressing.

Himdman's theortes on motivation are borrowed from Vince Lombardi, whom he believes achieved greatness through his ability to inspire "average men to perform better than temselves." The one-time Green Bay Packer coach, whom Hindman never met, is pictured in an 8 by 10 black and white photo over Hindman's office desk.

Western Maryland was 2-6-1 in Hindman's first season as coach.

To help turn things around, Hindman instituted a players' committee. The committee consisted of seven men trusted with the job of enforcing the rules. The idea worked, according to Hindman, because it made the players feel more like a team. "They finally realized that one player's actions could effect the entire team performance. Football is a team, not individual, sport," he said.

A preseason weightlifting program helped, too. The equipment was purchased with money donated by Hindman. "I give most of the money (his salary) back to the school," he said, "because I don't need it. There are things which these young people need that the school can't provide."

Hindman also purchased football instruction books for his players last year. For three of his part-time assistant coaches, who are bachelors, he purchased an off-campus house affectionately coined the "coaches corner." One of his assistant coaches, Ed Kelley, 24, has been appointed president of one of Hindman's Midwest nursing homes. "I believe in spreading success," said Hindman.

"He talkes the team out to dinner at top restaurants," said defensive back Randy Halsey, "and does everything first class."

"I think it is important for them to go first class," said Hindman. "Material things are a symbol of success. that they will be motivated to succeed.

"I'm rough as hell on them (the players)," said Hindman. "Verbally, I tear them apart. If they hate me for it now, all right. One day, they'll love me. The world is tough . . . fate is constantly pressing them."