Northern Illinois director of athletics and associate vice president Jeff Compher accepted a job today at East Carolina to become the new athletic director.
Compher spent the last five seasons with the Huskies, with his crowning achievement coming this season when the football program won its second straight MAC Championship and became the first MAC school to be named to a BCS Bowl game. The No. 15 Huskies squared off against No. 12 Florida State, falling 31-10 to the Seminoles on New Year's Day.
“I am really happy for Jeff and his family, but sad to see him go," head football coach Rod Carey said. "He’s been a great leader for NIU and has taken us to places we haven’t been before as a football program and as an athletic department. I have the utmost respect for Jeff and his wife, Cathy.”
Compher was introduced Wednesday at a press conference on East Carolina's campus, donning a purple tie and purple ECU Pirates baseball cap. He replaces Terry Holland, who served as the Pirates' athletic director since 2004. Holland will remain at the helm until his contract ends at the end of April.
"I would like to thank President Peters, the student-athletes, coaches and staff for the opportunity to lead the Huskie Athletics Department. I am also very grateful to the generous donors, alumni and fans who have helped build a tremendously successful athletics program. My family will miss the many good friends we have made here and appreciate how the community accepted us over the last five years. We wish nothing but the best for Huskie Athletics and Northern Illinois University in the future. "
Before his time in DeKalb, which began in 2008, Compher spent four years as the executive associate athletic director at the University of Washington in Seattle.
"I want to thank Jeff, Cathy, [and sons] C.J. and David Compher for their commitment, support and contributions to our community during their time here at NIU," president Dr. John Peters said. “I am personally gratified by the strong leadership and guidance Jeff provided while helping heighten the profile of the Huskie athletics program. Jeff is well-regarded among league administrators, but what has impressed me the most has been his commitment to the well-being of NIU’s student athletes."