Jeff Compher is out as ECU Athletics Director

Jeff Compher is out as ECU Athletics Director (Brian North, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Jeff Compher will no longer be East Carolina University's Athletics Director, ECU's Board of Trustees announced. He will formally step down from his position on May 1, 2018.

The East Carolina University Board of Trustees approved an agreement between the university and Compher on Friday. The Athletics Director led the university's athletics department for five years.

Under Compher, the university named Adidas as the official footwear and athletic wear brand in a 10-year deal, launched a new women's lacrosse team, and broke ground for the $60 million Dowdy-Ficklen Southside Stadium renovation. Student athletes have also achieved the highest grade point average in ECU's history and are graduating at higher rates than the general student body.

“I want to thank Jeff Compher for his service to ECU and Pirate Nation over the past five years. Jeff has worked hard and has accomplished much in his time here, and our athletics department and student-athletes are far better off as a result of Jeff’s efforts," ECU Chancellor Cecil P. Staton said. "I’m particularly proud of the success our student-athletes have accomplished during Jeff’s tenure. I wish Jeff and Cathy all the best in their future endeavors."

Compher is eligible to be paid over five years ending April 30, 2023, up to a total of $1,262,500, a press release from ECU details. The payments, if made in full, equate to 50 percent of the base salary and 50 percent of the supplemental pay Compher would have earned if his employment had continued through the contract term.

ECU will say a total of $912,500 with the move. Compher will be paid for accrued, payout-eligible leave and any bonuses that are earned and unpaid as of May 1. The deal requires Compher make "reasonable efforts" to obtain a new position in an athletics-related position in order to reduce ECU's obligation to pay, the press release said. The university's payments will be reduced on a dollar for dollar basis after he earns $192,500 per year in a new position.

"While the university is unaware of any violations of law or policy, it has retained the right to stop ongoing payments if it learns that Compher committed any Level 1 or II NCAA violations or his coaches did so with his knowledge," the press release said. "Payments would be terminated, as well, if crimes or policy violations harmful to the university were discovered to have occurred during his leadership as AD. ECU is waiving his obligation to pay liquidated damages for resigning from his ECU employment prior to the expiration of his contract."

ECU Chancellor Station said the search for a new Director of Athletics will begin right away. Interim leadership will be announced soon.

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