University of Maine Athletic Director Blake James is leaving to take a position at University of Miami as a senior associate athletic director for external affairs.

James will leave the UMaine program in early September.

President Robert Kennedy will assess the situation and determine the next steps shortly, according to spokesman Joe Carr. A national search is likely to follow.

James arrived at Maine in 2003 as an associate athletic director, and was named interim AD in July of 2005 when Patrick Nero left to be commissioner of America East.

James was chosen for the position in May 2006 following a national search.

He worked at Miami previously in athletic adminstration from 1998-2001. He has also worked at the University of Nebraska and Providence College.

A year ago James was a finalist to become AD at Florida Gulf Coast University in Naples, Fla.

Last November the UMaine extended his contract through June 2012.