ECU’s new AD has ‘national recognition’

calexander@newsobserver.comMarch 7, 2013 

East Carolina has a new athletics director, and one with a proven track record of success.

Jeff Compher was named ECU’s athletics director on Wednesday, receiving a five-year contract that has an annual salary of $415,000. Compher had served as associate vice president and athletics director at Northern Illinois University.

In announcing the hire, ECU chancellor Steve Ballard called Compher a “proven leader in moving an entire athletic program forward.”

“He has great values, great experience and national recognition among his peers,” Ballard said in a statement.

Northern Illinois gained national attention this past season in football, becoming the first Mid-American Conference team to play in the Bowl Championship Series when it earned a berth in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. NIU’s football coach, Dave Doeren, was hired by N.C. State.

Compher, who will start his new job May 1, got his start in athletic administration at N.C. State and was an assistant AD from 1986 to 1992. He later was assistant to the chancellor at N.C. State before going to Vanderbilt, where he was associate and then senior associate AD under athletics director Todd Turner.

Compher was athletics director at Western Carolina from 2000 to 2004 before becoming executive associate AD at the University of Washington.

At Northern Illinois, all 17 sports teams have surpassed the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate the past seven years. The football team was ranked in the top 12 in the APR each of the past four years.

“Jeff Compher brings to ECU an outstanding record of success, specifically winning championships,” said Robert Lucas, chairman of the board of trustees at East Carolina.

Compher succeeds Terry Holland as ECU’s athletics director and will oversee the Pirates’ move into the Big East Conference in 2014. Holland has been AD since 2004 and will remain as director emeritus until the end of his contract.

“I believe ECU is poised for greatness and I am thrilled to be a part of Pirate Nation,” Compher said.

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