WCU chancellor cans athletics director

Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher this week fired C. Joseph “Chip” Smith, the director of intercollegiate athletics.

Belcher announced that Fredrick Q. Cantler, WCU’s longtime senior associate athletic director for internal operations, has agreed to come out of retirement to serve as interim director of athletics.

Cantler, who retired in March after 33 years in athletics administration at WCU, will serve as interim director of athletics as the university conducts a national search for a permanent athletics director, Belcher said.

“With Fred’s wealth of experience, including a previous stint as interim AD, I have the greatest confidence in his ability to keep the athletics program moving forward during this time of transition,” he said. “Fred brings extensive knowledge of athletics budgeting and NCAA compliance issues to this assignment, and I am grateful to him for his willingness to assume this responsibility.”

During his career as a sports administrator, Cantler helped develop the Catamount women’s soccer program from scratch in 1999. Two years later in 2001, the program captured the first of its three Southern Conference tournament championships. Also, the Catamount baseball team won both the regular season and tournament titles in 2003 and won the regular season in 2007, advancing to the NCAA regional tournaments.

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