Montgomery focused on football wins

Montgomery focused on football wins
ECU leaders under the gun to right the ship
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Head coach Scottie Montgomery and his ECU football program resumed its practice schedule Monday afternoon after enjoying a nine-day spring break layoff. The two-hour workout, conducted in a steady rain and ultimately sleet at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex, was the Pirates eighth overall and fifth in full pads.

Mondays session also officially opened preparation efforts in earnest for ECUs first intrasquad scrimmage of the spring scheduled for Saturday.

“We battled through about everything the weather threw at us today and I didnt hear any complaints,” Montgomery said. “Im proud of our focus, especially with as much detail as we added. The week off certainly gave us an energy boost and I could see us continue to grow and take shape offensively and defensively.”

In addition to its traditional team-on-team run and pass game development segments, ECU spent Mondays situational period on redzone efficiency. The Pirates also introduced another team stanza entitled “”Call It” which opened each offensive possession on its own 10-yard line before engaging in spirited three-on-three drills contained within a seven-yard boundary.

After an off-day Tuesday, the Pirates will return to work Wednesday beginning at 4:30 p.m. before closing the week with another session Friday afternoon and Saturdays scrimmage.

NOTES: QB Reid Herring opened the initial team period by completing three-straight passes for 65 yards, which included a 32-yarder to Trevon Brown on his first toss of the afternoon … Montgomery lauded the work of recently-converted running back Keyshawn Canady, who ripped off the longest rush of the day (24 yards) …He averaged 6.3 yards per carry during the 10-minute run game period (8-50) … Trace Christian (21 yards) and Anthony Scott (17) also turned in significant jaunts … The defense enjoyed the upper hand in the redzone period, logging a trio of takeaways in the inclement conditions that including a fumble recovery by Colby Gore … DL Brandon Henderson, RB Darius Pinnix and LB Ray Tillman remained sidelined with injuries, while OL John Spellacy was cleared to participate in non-contact work.

Remaining Workouts: March 16, March 17 (scrimmage), March 19, March 21, March 23, March 24 (Purple-Gold Game, 1:00 p.m.)

The Jeff Compher buyout ends one of the most tumultuous times in East Carolinas athletics history.

The buyout had been rumored for weeks. I even had a chance to ask the soon-to-be former Pirate AD about the situation a couple of weeks ago. Compher said there wasnt anything to it.

Its been my experience that if there is enough smoke, there is a fire somewhere. So I took his answer with the proverbial grain of salt.

After all, Steve Logan once told me that he had no idea that his defensive coordinator, Larry Coyer, had been named as the defensive line coach with the New York Jets. The Jets had already announced it, but Logan played dumb. I was young and naïve back then. Im old and probably still a bit naïve now.

I try to see the best in people. Its worked quite well for me in my 30-plus year career. This situation, though, had soured. Many in the Pirate Nation were holding back their support of the Pirates and the athletic program was in a downward spiral.

The Chancellor and the Board of Trustees are now the ones under fire. Some are mad about the buyout. Others are concerned about the new hire.

Now the program has a chance to bounce back. Comphers departure opens the door for a new person to come in and right the Pirate ship.

I believe East Carolina should go after someone with Pirate ties. I think the lack of those ties hurt Compher during his tenure at ECU.

I expect ECU to call on former Pirate AD Dave Hart in the near future. Hart currently heads up Athletics Legacy Partners, a consulting firm that identifies and develops talent to lead college athletics departments. Hart is expected to play some type of role going forward.

The first person I thought of as a full time replacement for Compher was UNC-Wilmington AD Jimmy Bass. Bass had to make some tough decisions with the Seahawks early on, but has flourished in his seven-plus years on the job at UNCW.

Scott Wetherbee would certainly be a nice hire. Wetherbee is currently the AD at Eastern Michigan. Wetherbee was a Pirate for ten years and has also made stops at Mississippi State, San Diego State and Fresno State.

Jeff Barber was an assistant AD at ECU in the late 80s and early 90s. He led the Liberty program for a decade before he suddenly resigned a year and a half ago.

Charles Bloom is a former SID at East Carolina and is now an Associate AD at South Carolina. Bloome has a great resume going back to the BCS and the SEC.

Nick Floyd left ECU to take the AD job at Louisiana-Monroe. Floyd is a class guy and could certainly help with the current budget situation.

There are certainly many other candidates. Hopefully, the powers that be will move smartly but swiftly on the hire.

An expensive chapter in ECUs athletic history is now in the past. Compher’s employment relationship with ECU will formally end on May 1.

Alice Morse Earle once said, Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Thats why it is called the present.

Heres hoping the Pirates present can come in here and turn this thing around.

Posted in Montgomery