ECU head coach Mike Houston has begun his search for the new defensive coordinator of the Pirates.
Last season marked the fourth-straight that Bob Trott served as the defensive coordinator under Mike Houston, dating back to the days at James Madison. The decision came after a year where ECU ranked 119th of 130 in total defense. Although it was only Year One, the steady decline in defensive performance is likely what prompted Houston to make the change. There’s a good chance that Trott (who is 65) will hang it up after his 33rd season at the collegiate level. That being said, though, there is no doubt that he can find a new job if he wishes to continue coaching.
Coaching searches at the FBS level seem to never end. The Pirates will likely create another domino affect if they decide to pluck a current assistant from a school. There are a couple of guys with North Carolina ties who currently don’t have jobs and have potential to be a good fit.
Blackwell is an ECU alum and served as the defensive coordinator in 2018. He came in as DC in Scottie Montgomery’s final season and helped make the Pirate defense respectable. Following the season, the entire staff was let go and Blackwell found himself as the defensive coordinator at Old Dominion. The Monarchs ended their season in the top 50 in total defense and yards per play among FBS schools. Unfortunately, the entire staff was let go following the season. He has had some tough breaks getting places right as coaches are being let go, but I think he would be a great addition in Greenville.
The former N.C. State defensive coordinator spent the past seven years with the Wolfpack, but was let go following a dismal performance in 2019. Most Wolfpack fans will probably laugh, but I think a fresh start could serve Huxtable and the Pirates well. He has already coached at ECU on two separate occasions and is very familiar with recruiting the region. If age had anything to do with the relieving of Trott, this won’t make sense, as Huxtable is only two years younger. It will be interesting to see who emerges as a candidate in the coming days.