East Carolina Pirates: Why No Hire Yet?


Are the East Carolina Pirates moving slow in hiring their next coach or are they waiting for someone in particular?

The East Carolina Pirates are hunting for a new football coach. Yet the other jobs in college football seem to be finding their guys, and the East Carolina job remains vacant. Are the Pirates doing their due diligence or is their man currently on someone else’s staff and are they just waiting to go get him?

One thing that was pointed out in the firing of Ruffin McNeill was that the new athletic director, Jeff Compher, had not been the guy who hired McNeill. Perhaps the first place to start looking for the next ECU coach is Northern Illinois, where Compher was before. The head coach there is Rod Carey, hired by Compher after the departure of Dave Doeren to NC State.

Yet Carey has no recruiting ties to the region really. He is also eminently available. His team is going bowling, yes, but Carey would know the American Athletic Conference is a step up from the MAC. Three or more AAC teams got sniffs at the top 25. Only one MAC team, Toledo, did likewise. If the Pirates wanted to make a move on Carey they could have done so by now.

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There are other coaching candidates who reports from Nathan Summers at the Daily Reflector placed some interest in. One was Frank Beamer’s son Shane. Again Shane Beamer is preparing for his father’s final bowl game, but it would not prevent ECU from making the hire if they wanted him.

There was interest in Gene Chizik, the Auburn coach turned UNC defensive coordinator. Chizik seems to be uninterested in a move at this point. Rumors that Chizik had interviewed turned out to be nothing, according to Summers. Chizik probably has a plan to return to the head coaching ranks, but he might be looking to get back in at a Power 5 school.

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Then there are the guys still coaching in the playoff. I don’t mean that the Pirates will hire Saban, Stoops, Dantonio, or Swinney. They could be interested in coordinators though. Unlike Georgia, who hired Kirby Smart, they might make their move after the playoff to land Clemson DC Brett Venables or more likely Lincoln Riley.

Riley makes so much sense for the Pirates. He was there only a year ago and could provide continuity. He is also a young coach known as a bright spot in college football circles. He can keep the offensive scheme in place.

Next: McNeill Out After Six Seasons

The trick would be if he had any reservations about McNeill’s exit. If he disliked the way that was handled then he might stay from the job. Then a plan where Riley was the true brains behind recent Pirate success would go up in smoke.

Giving the head coach no quarter sometimes has consequences.