WCU athletic director fired

Former Athletic Director of WCU Chip Smith. Photo from: catamountsports.com

Chip Smith was fired as athletic director of Western Carolina University effective Tuesday Oct. 25.  Smith has been the director of athletics at Western since 2004, before that he was over athletics at Morehead State University.

The decision came from Chancellor David Belcher Monday.   Belcher sent an email message thanking Smith for his services at WCU and underlined that it was time for change.  “I have reached the conclusion that a change in leadership is needed at this time,” said Belcher.

Fred Cantler, a senior associate director of athletics who retired in March after 33 years of service, has temporally filled the AD seat.   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.”

This decision comes after some disappointing seasons from different Catamount sports teams with the most noticeable being the football program.

Belcher is now working to put a search committee together for WCU’s next athletic director.