Compher to move to East Carolina University



By Jacob Onak

NIU Athletic Director Jeff Compher will leave NIU for East Carolina University.

Compher, who will be leaving NIU for the same position at East Carolina, has been at NIU for five years and hired 12 of NIU’s 16 coaches, including head basketball coach Mark Montgomery and former NIU head football coach Dave Doeren. Compher will start at ECU on May 1.

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

Compher has signed a five-year contract with the school and will have an annual salary of $415,000 not including any athletic, academic and compliance bonuses. Compher’s salary will come from non-state appropriated funds, including the East Carolina Educational Foundation. Compher’s annual salary at NIU was $279,812 in 2012, according to the Toledo Blade.

“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 in a news release.

NIU President John Peters has said it will be up to the new NIU president to hire a new athletic director.

“While the selection of a new director of athletics will be the prerogative of NIU’s next president, I will work with Compher and his staff on a transition plan that ensures continuity within the athletic department in the interim,” Peters said in a news release.

Before his time at NIU, Compher worked as the athletic director at Western Carolina from 2000-2004 and as an assistant athletic director from 1986-1992 at North Carolina State University.

The Baltimore, Md., native got his bachelor’s degree from James Madison Universtiy where he played football. Compher went on to get his master’s degree in counseling and student personnel services in 1980 from Shippenburg University in Pennsylvania.

Under Compher, NIU’s athletics programs have not only succeeded on the field but in the classroom. In the last seven years, all of the NIU sports programs have raised their academic progress rates.

“I would like to thank President Peters, the student-athletes, coaches and staff for the opportunity to lead the Huskie Athletics Department,” Compher said in a news release. “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.“