Robert Epskamp, former director of athletics at Jackson (Mich) Community College, was named athletic director at George Mason University yesterday. Epskamp replaces Raymond (Hap) Spuhler, who retired in the spring for health reasons.

Epskamp worked at Jackson for the last four years. Prior to that, he coached both track and field and cross country at Miami of Ohio and at Ohio State.

At OSU, Epskamp helped develop long-distance runner Bob Schul, the only American ever to win the Olympic 5,000 meters (1964). He also coached an Olympic marathoner and intermediate hurdler.

"I'm looking forward to living in Northern Virginia and being involved in a program of this thrust," said Epskamp. "My goal is excellence across the board, for both men's and women's sports."

Epskamp said he will soon talk with all the coaches of GMU's 18 intercollegiate sports.

"I'll be getting their suggestions for what each sport will be needing," Epskamp said."Their input will help when I take a look at the athletic budget."

Epskamp, a Flint, Mich., native and graduate of Western Michigan University, praised the help given him in his transition by Spuhler and members of the athletic department.

"Before I accepted the job, I was given time to evaluate where the college is going," said Epskamp.

GMU is in the midst of an expansion program that includes the construction of a fieldhouse, outdoor all-weather track and several soccer and baseball playing fields.