Gallaudet, which last fielded a varsity football program in 1979, has named Calvert High's Ed Hottle its new coach and outlined a plan to return to varsity status at the Division III level by the 2007 season.

"It's just a very, very unique opportunity helping guide them to where they want to go," said Hottle, 32, who led Calvert to a 1-9 record last year in his first season as head coach. He previously worked as an assistant at Frostburg State, Dennison (Ohio) and Wesley (Delaware).

Gallaudet, located in Northeast, is the world's only university dedicated to deaf students. The school has begun a fundraising campaign to install lights and new bleachers for its football field in time for the 2007 season, according to athletic department spokesman Jeremy Bunblasky.

For the past 26 seasons, Gallaudet has had a club football program. Last season, the Bison went 3-5 against club teams from such schools as North Carolina, Duke and George Mason, and junior varsity opponents from Shenandoah (Va.) and Wesley.

Because Gallaudet is the only school of its kind, it will allow Hottle to recruit nationwide.

His first day on the job, Hottle will start getting a daily, two-hour sign language tutorial.

-- Alan Goldenbach