published Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Howie Sompayrac resigns as Irish athletic director

Howie Sompayrac, one of the area's most successful high school athletic directors, has decided to step down after 15 years at Notre Dame. Sompayrac will finish out the current school year after making the announcement to faculty and coaches on Tuesday.

"Jon Keene told me when I got the job that I should treat every sport like I had a son or daughter that was a rising ninth-grader coming into that sport," Sompayrac said in reference to the former Irish AD and state-champion baseball coach. "That was some great advice that I have lived by the last 15 years.

"I am thankful to our great administrative team, our strong and supportive faculty and all of our wonderful parents. Most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with so many great kids through the years, and to watch them grow physically, mentally, socially and spiritually has been a blessing with immeasurable benefits."

Sompayrac is leaving to take a job as director of school advancement at Knoxville's St. Joseph's School, which offered his wife Cathy a teaching job as well.

During his tenure, Fighting Irish teams have earned seven state championships and five runner-up finishes and had 51 individual state champions in a variety of sports. More individuals and teams won state titles and competed in Final Fours than in the 50 years before Sompayrac became AD.

Sompayrac also coached track and field for eight years and softball for seven years. He helped produce 30 state champions in track despite Notre Dame not having a track surface, and he never had a losing season in softball.

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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