(CBS) Northern Illinois University announced today it has named Christian Spears its acting director of athletics.

Spears will replace the departed Jeff Compher, who was named director of athletics at East Carolina last month.

Spears joined the Huskies athletic department in 2009.

“First and foremost, I want to thank Dr. John Peters and Jeff Compher for bringing me and my family to NIU four years ago,” Spears said in a statement. ”What this department has accomplished together with our university community, coaches and student-athletes during that time has been truly special.