Northern Illinois University has announced a national search for the position of associate vice president and director of athletics.
A search firm will be utilized to expedite the search process. NIU President John G. Peters made the announcement May 14.
“After extensive consultation with President-Designate Baker and conversations with NCAA and BCS leaders, we’ve become convinced that it is time to launch a national search for a leader for our intercollegiate athletics program. Northern Illinois University enjoys a great reputation nationally.”
While the search process is getting underway, Doug Baker—who is to begin his tenure as NIU president officially July 1—will oversee the process and ultimately make the selection for the position. Baker says the school is looking for someone to build on the program's success and take it to the next level.
“The pieces are in place—NIU has a strong donor base, excellent facilities, outstanding resources for student academic success and a tradition of excellence in competition and in the classroom. I believe this is one of the best AD jobs in the country.”
Former NIU Athletic Director Jeff Compher announced his decision to leave NIU for Eastern Carolina University on March 6. He will began his tenure at ECU May 1. During his five years at the helm, NIU's athletic programs were highly successful on and off the field.
ECU cited that success when it announced Compher as its choice for AD, specifically mentioning NIU's appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl. NIU's game against Florida State on Jan. 1, 2013, was the first Bowl Championship Series appearance in school and MAC history. It followed a season that saw the school win its second consecutive MAC Championship.
The Northern Illinois volleyball, men’s soccer, softball and men’s tennis teams all played for MAC titles this year and, in 2011-12, NIU won four Mid-American Conference championships in men’s soccer, volleyball, football and men’s tennis.
During Compher's tenure the program has also had seven Academic All-Americans, two National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes, an NCAA Woman of the Year finalist. NIU football has ranked top 12 in the country in NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate in each of the last four seasons.
NIU's head football coach for the recent MAC Championships, Dave Doeren, also took advantage of the program's success. After less than two years in the position, Doeren left December 1 to take the head coaching job at North Carolina State.