Dwight Williams, a former area high school football star and the assistant bursar at the University of Maryland the past six years, will become the Terrapins' assistant athletic director for fiscal affairs Feb. 1, sources said yesterday.

Williams' appointment signals two significant developments as Athletic Director Lew Perkins completes restructuring the department in the aftermath of the death of basketball star Len Bias 20 months ago and a subsequent task force report critical of the department's academic policies, financial management and isolation from the rest of the university.

"One of the things I offered the athletic department is interaction with the rest of the campus," Williams said in a telephone interview. "I think we're looking to be close-knit with the other departments of the university. That's one of my main assets."

Both Perkins and Williams, 34, downplayed the fact that Williams, who will be one of four assistant athletic directors, becomes the first black senior administrator in department history. Basketball coach Bob Wade became the Atlantic Coast Conference's first black head coach in a revenue sport when he was hired 16 months ago. Before that, the only two black officials in the Maryland department were assistant basketball coach Oliver Purnell and assistant football coach Dick Poiree.

"I hired him because he was the most qualified candidate for the job," Perkins said before leaving for last night's Maryland-Virginia basketball game in Charlottesville. "I'm not supposed to look at that {that Williams is black} and I didn't."

"I'm looking forward to it," Williams said. "I've been over there working on things late at night."

The job combines Williams' finance career with his love of sports. He graduated from Dunbar High School in 1972 and was co-captain of the football team his senior season there. He graduated from Langston (Okla.) University, where he played football with former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas (Hollywood) Henderson, and had a tryout with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

Jeff Hathaway, who had been serving in the fiscal affairs slot on an interim basis and headed the search committee for a permanent replacement, will become director of sports marketing. That leaves Perkins with three positions still open: sports information director, volleyball coach and track coach. Perkins said he plans no further staff reductions, although the athletic department still is facing a shortfall of about $800,000 this fiscal year, due largely to fewer gate receipts than expected in football.