Jim Kehoe was back on the job as an athletic director yesterday.

The man who led the University of Maryland to renewed respectability and financial stability in athletics spent his first full day as the interim athletic director at the university's Eastern Shore campus.

When he retired last year-after a dispute with College Park Chancellor Robert Gluckstern-Kehoe was named athletic consultant by John Toll, university president. Those duties involved the transition of Carl James as athletic director at College Park and also entailed an evaluation and recommendation for the financially troubled program at the 1,000-student campus in Princess Anne.

One recommendation that Kehoe did not make was for him to become athletic director, replacing a university administrator who had doubled in that role for the past three years. But Dr. William Hytche, the Eastern Shore chancellor, asked Kehoe to serve as interim director for a year.

Because of his state pension, Kehoe can only work part time at Princess Anne. But Kehoe agreed he will be a full-time part-timer.

"Well, yeah, you know how it is," Kehoe said. "I like to be active seven days a week. It's less demanding, but I'm going to be busy for a while . . . it's the same thing as here (College Park) but on a much smaller scale."

In the four years since it was set up as a supposed self-supporting endeavor, UMES athletics have lost $100-000, including approximately $30,00 in the current fiscal year, according to Joel Mack, vice chancellor for administrative affiars. The budget this year, based on a deficit spending, was $135,000. Next year it will be $78,326, Mack said.

"It's not going to be budgeted if I don't have the money," Kehoe said, repeating an off-stated canon of his 10 years as athletic director at College Park.

UMES projects $56,000 of the budget coming from mandatory student fees. The predominantly black university is dropping out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and going into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, a move Kehoe sees as putting UMES at its correct competitive level. The MEAC will be a Division One league next year.

As he did at College Park, Kehoe will cut back on nonrevenue sports until the budget is balanced.

"I did that in a year here and I plan to do that there," Kehoe said. "You stop the slide, you stabilize and then you go in the other direction."

Kehoe was named to the UMES job at a press conference at Princess Anne Tuesday. However, as of yesterday, College Park was still "here" and "we" and Princess Anne was "there" and "they."

"They don't have money over there to have a little luncheon," Kehoe said. "We had to have it (the press conference) at 3 o'clock. I like a challenge. I like to solve problems . . . I'm not somebody who's going to sit in a rocking chair."

He said he does not want the job permanently, but hopes to balance the books, reshape the program and hire a capable full-timer within a year.

"I'm not interested in this as a long-term venture," Kehoe said. CAPTION: Picture, Jim Kehoe