‘Thanks Jeff, but we needed a fresh start:’ ECU fans react to Compher’s departure

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — “Thanks Jeff, but we needed a fresh start,” said ECU freshman Will Rhodes, describing his reaction to Athletic Director Jeff Compher’s departure from the university.

ECU Athletics, especially football, are a way of life for Pirate fans like Will.

“It’s important to everyone in Greeenville, really,” he said.

So how does he feel about Compher’s departure?

“Absolutely just happy,” said Rhodes.

Compher has received his fair share of criticism since he fired head football coach Ruffin McNeill back in 2015. The team has struggled ever since.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Rhodes. “Ever since he fired Ruffin, that is when it started.”

“Not a surprise really,” said Annie Myers, an ECU senior. “I think more of a relief. A lot of people have made signs, or we even got a plane that said “Fire Compher” that was going around last tailgate season.”

Chris Munier, an ECU alumnus, is ready for change.

“I am not going to cry boo-hoo tears,” said Munier. “He will probably get some other job. He will be fine. There’s plenty of opportunities out there, and there are plenty of folks who would like to come to Greenville and make ECU a better program; I am sure.”

Rhodes listed what he would like to see in a new AD.

“Someone competent who has a track record of success wherever they have been,” Rhodes said. “Just find someone accountable (who) can really connect with the local fan base because Jeff Compher did not fit the mold.”

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