"We have a big job ahead of us," Orby Moss Jr., the recently appointed athletic director at the University of District of Columbia, said Tuesday.

"We plan to build our program on the positive things from the past and live down the negatives. We plan to have an excellent athletic program in the near future."

Formerly the athletic director at Sienna Heights College in Adrian, Mich., and assistant director of physical education and athletics at Wisconsin-Parkside, the 37-year-old Lacrosse, Wis., native said the biggest problem he'll have is "gaining recognition for the school and letting the public know we have a legitimate and respectable program here."

Moss made his comments at a basketball kickoff breakfast at the International Inn.

Beginning its second year, UDC is a fusion of Federal City College, D.C. Teachers and Washington Tech. The school has an enrollment of 13,000 students.

UDC went through a difficult transition period last year with several new coaches, in addition to searching for an athletic director to replace Ollie Thompson.

"I was aware of the problems when I came here," said Moss. "My first goal was to establish a smooth-running program. There's no quick solution to building a program. It'll take time."

Moss has already started the first phase of his long-range program. Both the men and women now have seven sports and Moss plans to add several more soon. The school plays a Division II schedule in every sport, except football which is a Division II schedule.

Ted Vactor, the football coach, and Cynthia Hall, the softball coach, are the school's only full-time head coaches. Both will also serve as assistant athletic directors under Moss.

One of Moss' goals is to convince area high school athletes to come to UDC.

"We'll concentrate on keeping the D.C. athletes home," Moss said. "I'm from out of town but I know the Washington area has fine athletes. But I also know we have to build an attractive program for them to want to enroll at UDC."

UDC offers scholarships in compliance with NCAA regulations and the school plans to enforce a rule requiring athletes to have a 2.0 grade point average.

"We don't plan to go out and buy five basketball blue-chippers. That's not the answer to a successful program," said Moss. "I really don't think the nation's best programs were built in that manner."