The resignation is effective May 11, President Renu Khator Khator announced Wednesday.
Maggard said at an afternoon press conference that he's making the move so he and his wife can be closer to his family in California.
"Following a visit with our family in California over the Easter weekend, we began to discuss our retiring to be closer to family," Maggard said. "We felt this to be a good time to retire from University of Houston while I am still in excellent health and have great enthusiasm for life and am able to work long hours.
"The departure for us is difficult in that we have met so many great Cougars and so many of you have made the future of this program so very bright. I feel extremely good about what we have been able to achieve together and to move this program back in the national picture."
Khator praised Maggard's leadership, saying he has helped change the culture of athletics at UH, resulting not only in excellence on the field of play, but in the academic arena as well.
"The University of Houston is home to one of the most storied athletics programs in the nation," Khator said. "In overseeing the 16 intercollegiate sports offerings at the university, Dave Maggard's guidance has lifted our athletics program back onto the national stage. His efforts have produced dramatic improvements in graduation rates, initiated a new fundraising program in Cougar Pride that provides student scholarships and engages alumni and fans, and established long-term stability that cements his legacy. We wish him and his family all the best."
The university will conduct a nationwide search to replace Maggard. Until a successor is named, John Robinson, assistant director of athletics, will serve as interim director of athletics, Khator said. Maggard has been with the University of Houston since January of 2002.