FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The athletic director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is stepping down.

Fairbanks television station KTVF reported Tuesday that Sterling Steward Jr. will leave the university after eight months as athletic director.

Keith Champagne, vice chancellor for student affairs, says Steward plans to pursue other opportunities in the Lower 48, specifically in the south.

Champagne will take over the athletic director role while continuing to serve as head of the student affairs department.

Champagne previously served as interim athletic director at Central Washington University.

During Steward's tenure beginning in October the university added new locker room and team spaces and announced the Nanook hockey team will move from the Carlson Center in Fairbanks to a campus facility within two years.

Information from: KTVF-TV, http://www.webcenter11.com

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