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ECU names Blackwell DC


David Blackwell


From ECU, staff reports

Thursday, December 7, 2017

East Carolina’s football program has turned to one of its former players to try and fix the Pirates’ broken defense.

The school announced Thursday the hiring of David Blackwell as its new defensive coordinator. Blackwell, 46, most recently spent four years at Jacksonville State in Alabama, where he served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

He is tasked with taking over a defense that allowed 6,500 yards last season, a mark that was not only the worst in Division I but also the worst in the history of the program. Former defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson was reassigned after two games, and the defense was coached by defensive line coach Robert Prunty for the remainder of the season.

On the same day Blackwell joined the Pirates, it was announced that Prunty has been hired as head coach at Hampton University in Virginia after spending one season as an assistant at ECU.

Blackwell played for the Pirates in 1990 as an offensive lineman. He joined coach Steve Logan’s staff as an undergraduate coach in 1992, the year ECU won the Peach Bowl. He stayed on staff as a linebackers coach from 1993-95 before departing to start a career that has seen six stops before circling back to Greenville.

“While David's credentials speak volumes about his accomplishments on the defensive side of the ball, his endearment for this program and ingrained Pirate spirit is unequivocal," head coach Scottie Montgomery said in a release. "We're excited to welcome him home and ready to embrace a new era of relentless pursuit that uniquely ties into our past."

Blackwell spent time at Illinois State, Pittsburgh, Clemson, South Florida and Fordham before arriving at Jacksonville State. In the span of his four seasons there, JSU ranked in the top 10 nationally in FCS in several defensive categories, including defensive completion percentage (first), pass efficiency defense (second), rushing yards allowed per carry (second) and total defense (third).

He was nominated for the FCS Defensive Coordinator of the Year award in 2015 and 2016.