Jeff Compher, the executive associate athletic director at the University of Washington, will be the new athletic director at Northern Illinois University, the Daily Chronicle confirmed Monday night. Compher replaces Jim Phillips, who left NIU for Northwestern. Compher is 48 and has been in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations at Washington, including coordinating the daily administrative operations of the athletic department with a special emphasis on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball programs. Compher was a finalist for the University of Miami athletics director position this year. Compher arrived in Washington in 2004. Prior to that, he spent four years as athletic director at Western Carolina University. Compher is also a former assistant athletic director at North Carolina State and Vanderbilt. He graduated James Madison University in 1980.