Loading...
BYH: To those who keep the Russia probe going. It is time to stop wasting money and time on this. Nothing has been...

Dooley left good situation for Pirates

051618ECUdooley-2.jpg

East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley speaks during a Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce power luncheon last week.

Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, May 26, 2018

It is not easy to leave a winning program for one mired in a string of four straight losing seasons and that hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1993.

Joe Dooley did that in April when he left Florida Gulf Coast, a team he led to the NCAAs in 2016 and ’17, to take over at East Carolina for his second stint with the Pirates.

Dooley said earlier this week that a key factor in his decision was the conferences in which both teams play. FGCU is in the Atlantic Sun, a league that usually only sends one team to the NCAA tournament, the squad that wins the A-Sun tournament.

ECU is in the American Athletic Conference, which is in much higher regard nationally in large part because of programs like Cincinnati, Wichita State, Connecticut, Temple and others.

“(FGCU) will be predicted first or second again next year, but that being said, it’s a one-bid league and you have to win three games (in the A-Sun tournament),” Dooley said. “That’s the frustrating part because you know it’s not going to be a multiple-bid league. Here, the challenge is to get to the top half of the league and it is a terrific league and we’re excited about that.”

Like the Pirate coach before him in Jeff Lebo, Dooley also has referenced the importance of moving up in the AAC standings. ECU finished 11th out of 12 teams last season with a 4-14 league record.

The Pirates’ best finish in the American came in 2015 when they tied for seventh place when the conference had 11 teams.

“If you get to the top half of this league, you are in a postseason tournament and that’s our goal,” Dooley said. “That’s the whole deal and now the fight is to get to that top half of the league. When you look at it, Memphis is spending $235,000 per year per player and we are spending $55,000.

“There is discrepancy, but that being said, that doesn’t ensure that you are going to win and there a lot of programs that spend a lot of money and it doesn’t translate. But this is a big boy league.”

Like football coach Scottie Montgomery, special athletics adviser Dave Hart and others at ECU have discussed, Dooley is optimistic about the possibility of Pirate student-athletes getting some type of training table. This would allow for players to receive personalized food options and opportunities separate from the regular dining hall experience, which in theory should improve their diet and performance.

“If we can get this training table, that is a major morale deal and you are not at an disdvantage,” Dooley said. “Years ago when I was recruiting I used to always figure out who is helping me, but now I try to figure out who is hurting us. What they can do is look and see they don’t have a training table and this is a big deal because another school can say, ‘Well, they don’t care.’”

ECU hasn’t been to the postseason since losing to Wright State in the opening round of the 2014 CollegeInsiders.com Tournament. The highlight of the Lebo era was winning the CIT the previous year during a 23-12 campaign.

The Pirates have slipped since then, and part of the reason is not being able to keep pace in the AAC.

“Our fans want us to be good in basketball and we have to figure it out and that’s why we’re here,” Dooley said. “I do think the fans want it and let’s cut to the chase, it’s a revenue deal. We want football to be successful and we want basketball to be successful and all the sports to be successful, but especially in the revenue sports because if you are successful then it means more money for everybody.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

January 18, 2019 - 7 minutes ago

Last year, East Carolina women’s lacrosse was new enough that the team and its coaches did not yet know what they didn’t know.

As the team’s second-ever season is set to begin, so too is a whole new understanding of the game and its many nuances at the top college level. The 2018…

01XX19lacrosse-6.JPG

January 17, 2019

A letter from East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert addressed his first month-plus in charge of Pirate athletics and it also looked ahead to the future.

Gilbert posted an open letter to fans on the Pirates’ official website Thursday, saying that he will regularly use these “From…

011719basketball-9.JPG

January 17, 2019

One intriguing aspect of Wednesday night’s 85-74 victory for Temple basketball in Minges Coliseum was that Temple’s best player is senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. and East Carolina’s best player is freshman forward Jayden Gardner.

The pair of prolific scorers did not disappoint,…

011719basketball-8.JPG

January 16, 2019

Maryland’s hire of former East Carolina football head coach Scottie Montgomery as its offensive coordinator was made official by the Terrapins on Thursday. He also will serve as quarterbacks coach.

The hire should decrease what money ECU owes Montgomery. He was dismissed by the Pirates on Nov.…

111818ECUfootball-4.jpg.jpg.jpg

January 16, 2019

Things went according to plan for East Carolina basketball in front of an eager and enthusiastic crowd for the first 10 seconds Wednesday night in Minges Coliseum.

Red-hot freshman Jayden Gardner made a basket for the Pirates shortly after tip-off, but Temple reeled off 21 straight points and…

011719basketball-2.JPG

January 16, 2019

East Carolina football head coach Mike Houston and his family are closing on a house this week and making the full move to Greenville next week.

Houston has made Greenville home basically since he was officially hired from James Madison on Dec. 3 to be the 22nd coach of the Pirates. He has been…

011219football-4.JPG

January 16, 2019

East Carolina football has started its winter workouts with a heavy focus on the weight room under guidance from director of strength and conditioning John Williams Jr., but first-year head coach Mike Houston also has other plans for the Pirates as they continue to stride toward beginning spring…

011219football-5.JPG

January 15, 2019

Shawn Williams was the 2018 American Athletic Conference basketball rookie of the year, and this season he has seen East Carolina teammate and freshman Jayden Gardner firmly put himself in position for a Pirate to potentially win the award for the second straight year.

Gardner’s outstanding…

010619basketball-11.JPG

January 14, 2019

Jayden Gardner continues to thrive as a freshman basketball player for East Carolina, including recently taking over as the American Athletic Conference’s leading scorer, and his praise continued Monday when he was lauded again by the AAC.

Gardner was named the league’s co-freshman of…

010619basketball-10.JPG

January 14, 2019

Ryan Robinson had a family member at the 2014 North Carolina-East Carolina football game, when the Pirates beat UNC 70-41 in front of an ECU record crowd of 51,082 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, and he received rave reviews about that afternoon in Greenville.

As Robinson is entering Week 2 in his role…

092114ECUFootball22-68.jpg
291 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»