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Campos departure costly for Northern Arizona
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Campos departure costly for Northern Arizona

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With Lisa Campos announcing on Twitter that this past Sunday was her last official day as the vice president of intercollegiate athletics at Northern Arizona, the final cost of her departure also came in from the university.

Leaving with an additional $64,887.08 in performance incentives on a contract set to expire June 30, 2019, Campos' final payout included bonuses of $50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year and $14,887.08 for the 2018 fiscal year. Signed to a five-year contract paying her $375,000 annually at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Campos has retention bonuses that will raise her pay to $395,000 in year three, $425,000 in year four and $475,000 in year five.

Additionally, Campos’ husband Darren D’Attilio remains an employee of the university, holding the title of senior associate athletics director/external relations until Jan. 15, although the president’s office confirmed he no longer performs work for Northern Arizona. Sources have said the two have largely been absent from their offices, which have been packed up, since UTSA announced Campos as their new vice president for intercollegiate athletics on Nov. 17.

D’Attilio’s final date of employment at Northern Arizona matches that of Campos’ start date stated by UTSA at its official announcement a day after news broke that she would leave Flagstaff.

In accordance with his contract at an annual rate of $102,118, D’Attilio will be paid roughly $15,710 for the eight weeks spanning from Nov. 17 to Jan. 15. Initially signed from Oct. 9 to Dec. 31, D’Attilio’s contract was due for a second appointment beginning Jan. 1 through June. 30.

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Meanwhile, with Dec. 3 serving as Campos’ final day with the university, Northern Arizona’s cross country national title and the football team’s appearance in the FCS playoffs brought her additional pay.

Due an extra week’s pay for a top-five finish in the NCAA meet, as well as another week's bonus for the national title, Campos earned roughly $7,500 for the cross country team’s performance at the NCAA Championship meet one day after her UTSA announcement. With Northern Arizona winning a bid to host an FCS playoff game two days after the UTSA announcement -- a bid that Campos and D’Attilio worked on along with athletics department employees Matt Howdeshell, Beth Vechinski, Jake Hollingsworth and Randy Press -- Campos’ contract called for an additional bonus of two weeks of pay totaling another $7,500.

The bid cost the university $30,000, the minimum bid required by the NCAA to host an FCS first-round playoff game before the costs increase through the next rounds of the bracket. Northern Arizona fell to San Diego 41-10 on Nov. 25, with neither Campos or D’Attilio at the post-game press conference as had usually been the case in her tenure.

While the game initially appeared to be the final home game for Jerome Souers, Northern Arizona President Rita Cheng’s Nov. 20 decision to bring back the 20-year head coach nullified Campos’ Sept. 11 announcement that Souers would finish the season before departing Northern Arizona.

With Parker Executive Search, the same firm that assisted in hiring both Campos and men’s basketball head coach Jack Murphy in 2012, hired to find a new head coach with a proposal dated Sept. 18, Souers’ retainment came at a cost for the university, whose athletics budget resides around $17 million.

After paying the Atlanta-based group $45,000 on Oct. 4, Northern Arizona suspended the search when Souers was brought back as the school’s head coach. Parker Executive Search earned another $66,000 from Northern Arizona on Nov. 20 as it was again retained to find a replacement for Campos herself.

That cost was up slightly from $60,000 to replace former athletic director Jim Fallis in 2012.


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