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Athletics Director Jeff Compher, left, is presented with an East Carolina baseball cap from Chancellor Steve Ballard during a news conference Wednesday in the Murphy Center.  (Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflector)

Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflecto

Athletics Director Jeff Compher, left, is presented with an East Carolina baseball cap from Chancellor Steve Ballard during a news conference Wednesday in the Murphy Center. (Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflector)

Editorial: New era for Pirate sports

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It was widely considered a coup when East Carolina University introduced Terry Holland as the school’s new athletic director in September 2004. The former basketball coach and athletic director at the University of Virginia brought an impressive resume to the position and helped lead a remarkable period of growth and success for Pirate sports before last year announcing his intention to depart.

It was announced by East Carolina officials on Wednesday that into those shoes will step Jeff Compher, the director of athletics at Northern Illinois University. With an impressive record of preparing student-athletes to achieve both on and off the field, Compher may prove to be another coup for East Carolina and the Pirate Nation should welcome him warmly.

As East Carolina’s fortunes go, so follow those of Greenville and Pitt County. The university is more than a leading employer in this community. It acts as the very engine powering the local economy, hosts innumerable cultural events each year and is the embodiment of regional pride, which is often played out through intercollegiate athletics.

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Comments

Anyone recall

Does anyone recall the days of an aircraft flying over the football stadium filled with rabid ECU fans pulling a sign that said, "Fire Mike Hamrick"? We have come a long way from that day. Coach Holland brought us from the abyss to a first tier university sports system. There is no doubt that Jeff Compher will continue and even improve on that solid foundation left by Coach Holland. I wish him, as we pirates say, "Fair winds and following seas".

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart