Former Maryland men's basketball coach Bob Wade, who resigned under pressure almost 15 months ago, has been hired by the city of Baltimore as a special assistant to the director of the Department of Recreation and Parks.

According to Clint Coleman, a spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Wade's job will pay $46,000 a year and involve implementing a program that combines the recreation programs of the parks department and the city's public schools. The Baltimore Sun reported Wade's hiring in yesterday's editions.

"The mayor is very interested, and has been for several months, in sort of combining recreation and parks programs with the public schools and taking some recreational programs onto school sites," Coleman said. "Clearly, the mayor felt {Wade} was the man who perhaps could carry out the program."

Wade was not available to comment.

He served as athletic director, football coach and basketball coach at Baltimore's Dunbar High School for 11 years before taking the Maryland job. Coleman said Wade -- still being paid by Maryland after a buyout of his five-year contract -- was too valuable an asset for the city not to use.

Baltimore's recreational activities run the gamut from arts and crafts to participatory sports such as basketball. Alma Bell, a spokesperson for the parks department, said Wade will work only with sports. "His work will be confined to the areas he spent his years refining," she said.

Coleman said it would probably take a year to fully implement the program. Among Wade's other responsibilities will be to evaluate programs offered by the parks department and offer suggestions.

Wade has been on leave from the city's school system since accepting the Maryland coaching job in November 1986. To return to the school system, he would have had to take a job in his field, physical education. Coleman said there are no open jobs for athletic directors or coaches in the city, but if one became available, Wade could take it. "He could go back," Coleman said. "Hopefully, he won't go back before the completion of the program."

Violations committed during the tenure of Wade, who left Maryland in May 1989, led to NCAA sanctions placed on the school in March. Wade, among other things, was accused of providing transportation to student-athletes and attempting to mislead NCAA investigators and school officials.