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First on 9: ECU introduces Jeff Compher as new Director of Athle - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

First on 9: ECU introduces Jeff Compher as new Director of Athletics

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© NIU Athletics © NIU Athletics
GREENVILLE, N.C. -

As 9 On Your Side first reported Tuesday evening, East Carolina University has selected Jeff Compher, the former Vice President and Director of Athletics at Northern Illinois, as the school's new Director of Athletics.

The formal announcement came Wednesday at a 4pm news conference on campus.

Compher will replace Terry Holland, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Sources at both ECU and in DeKalb, Illinois confirmed the hiring Tuesday night to 9 On Your Side's Sports Director Brian Bailey. The ECU Board of Trustees announced a 3pm meeting for Wednesday afternoon to approve the move.

"Jeff Compher is a proven leader in moving an entire athletic department forward," said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. "He has great values, great experience, and national recognition among his peers. We are delighted he is a Pirate."

Compher has agreed to a five-year contract with ECU and will begin his duties May 1.

"I would like to thank the search committee, the members of the Board of Trustees, and especially Chancellor Ballard for this outstanding opportunity to lead the ECU Athletics Department," Compher said.

"I believe ECU is poised for greatness and I am thrilled to be a part of the Pirate Nation. North Carolina has always been home for our family and the city of Greenville holds a special place in our hearts. We look forward to getting to know the student-athletes, coaches and staff as well as the many fans and supporters of ECU athletics."

Robert Lucas, chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees and a member of the search committee, said Compher emerged quickly as a top choice.

"Jeff Compher brings to East Carolina a record of outstanding success at NIU, specifically winning championships," Lucas said. "That's evidenced, among other things, by the football program's appearance in the Orange Bowl in 2012. He also is a leader who brings very strong communication skills and, because he has spent so much time in North Carolina, has great contacts and knowledge of the state and the people." 

According to the Northern Illinois web site, Compher earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from James Madison University, where he was a football student-athlete in 1980, and graduated with a master's degree in counseling and student personnel services from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania in 1982. His first position in collegiate administration was at North Carolina State, where he was the assistant director of Housing and Residence Life from 1982-86.

Compher has agreed in principle to an annual salary of $415,000. He'll also receive bonuses for athletic, academic and compliance performance by the program, for fundraising and for retention. A news release from East Carolina states that the funding for his contract comes from non-state appropriated funds, including the East Carolina Educational Foundation, known as the Pirate Club.

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