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East Carolina hires AD to replace Holland

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - East Carolina has hired Jeff Compher from Northern Illinois as its athletic director.

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The school announced his hiring Wednesday and says he agreed to a five-year contract worth $415,000 annually plus performance bonuses and will begin May 1.

``Jeff Compher is a proven leader in moving an entire athletic department forward,'' Chancellor Steve Ballard said.

Compher is a former assistant AD at North Carolina State and athletic director at Western Carolina who is in his fifth year at Northern Illinois.

``I believe ECU is poised for greatness and I am thrilled to be a part of the Pirate Nation,'' Compher said. ``North Carolina has always been home for our family and the city of Greenville holds a special place in our hearts.''

He will oversee the Pirates' transition from Conference USA to the Big East in football in 2014. The destination for their other sports has not been determined.

Coincidentally, the football coach he hired at NIU - Dave Doeren - left before the Huskies' Orange Bowl appearance to take the top job at N.C. State, located roughly a 90-minute drive east of Greenville.

He is replacing 70-year-old Terry Holland, the former Virginia basketball coach who has been the school's AD since 2004. He said in December that he would become an athletic director emeritus once a successor was found, and will stay in that position until his contract expires in December 2014.

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