BYH to the one who thinks that we are energy independent because of this president. The initiatives you speak of began...

Hart staying through football season

1 of 2

Dave Hart, who is East Carolina University's special athletics adviser to Chancellor Cecil Staton, answers questions Tuesday at the Murphy Center about his three-month extension.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dave Hart’s role as special athletics adviser to East Carolina Chancellor Cecil Staton has been extended through football season, in part because of the difficulties the Pirates are facing financially as they prepare for another scholastic and athletics year.

Hart’s original six-month contract was extended Tuesday for three more months, keeping him with the Pirates in his current role until Dec. 15.

This sets up the Pirates to go through football season without a permanent athletics director.

Lee Workman is serving as the athletics acting chief operating officer and communicates frequently with Hart. The university cut ties with former AD Jeff Compher with a $1.2 million buyout agreement in March that ended Compher’s tenure May 1.

Football season ticket sales are down after consecutive 3-9 seasons under coach Scottie Montgomery and ECU athletics is still working to improve a running budget deficit of about $3 million. Also, last week Staton requested an independent audit of the university’s athletic department and an internal review by the athletics office of compliance began into the women’s basketball program.

“In (Staton’s) eyes and his mind, he said he felt like we had more assessment to do,” Hart said of an athletics meeting Tuesday morning before his extension was officially announced. “We haven’t discussed (Hart as a permanent AD), but we are just trying to take it visit by visit to get this assessment complete so that (Staton) can have a real good sense of the direction he wants to go.”

Hart added that his primary role remains on budget and big-picture concerns and not on coaching personnel.

“That’s really not part of my role is to assess personnel, but my role is to assess the program and how we can help from a very positive perspective,” said Hart, a former athletics director at ECU, Tennessee and Florida State who retired from Tennessee in June of 2017 and still lives in Knoxville, Tenn.

Hart’s pay rate of $31,250 per month remains the same as decided in his original contract. The new contract updates his total compensation package to $281,250 for advising from March 15 to December 15. It was determined during initial negotiations that private funds were raised to pay for his services, and an official said Tuesday night that state appropriations will not be used to pay the contract extension.

Montgomery’s long-term standing might still be tied to his guarantee at the end of last season that ECU will make a bowl game this year.

He was hired by Compher after Compher fired East Carolina alum Ruffin McNeill after a 5-7 record in 2015.

Com­pher was el­i­gi­ble to col­lect up to pay­ments to­tal­ing $1,262,500 through April 30, 2023, the uni­ver­sity re­ported March 9 when the ECU Board of Trustees announced the deal to sever ties with Compher just eight months af­ter grant­ing him a con­tract ex­ten­sion.

Hart was hired March 15 and immediately put in charge of the ECU basketball coaching search that produced what has widely been viewed as a success in bringing in Joe Dooley from a winning program at Florida Gulf Coast.

Hart also has helped with decisions this offseason to improve nutrition and other opportunities for football players and in other sports. A new football locker room, lounge area and nutrition station opened before preseason camp earlier this month.

“It gives us the ability to grow what we do, not only what we are able to give the student-athletes but the way that we are able to think about moving forward,” Montgomery said of Hart after Tuesday’s football practice. “It’s just kind of the direction that we have as far putting the student-athlete first and making sure that the student-athletes are getting everything that they need.”

When asked about potential concerns within athletics or from outside perception about the Pirates not having a permanent AD established, Hart said he doesn’t think that is a chief concern right now.

“I think the collective trepidation comes from our current financial position, and they know we are all working very hard to build a plan,” he said. “There is a path for us to get out of the current financial situation. We are not in this alone, because there are a lot of athletic departments that are facing challenges across the country.”

ECU said in a release that the extension will enable Hart to observe a full football season, including gameday experiences and the environment at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Pirates’ season opener is Sept. 1 against North Carolina A&T and their marquee matchup among seven home games scheduled comes the next week when North Carolina plays at ECU on Sept. 8.

According to ECU, Hart also will continue assessment on student-athlete services and welfare of all 20 Pirate sports teams along with prioritizing and assisting with future planning objectives to include fundraising strategies.

“We are exceptionally grateful Dave has agreed to continue his evaluation of our athletics program," Staton said in a release. "His profound insight has been a critical resource in assessing not only where we are, but where we need to be. It is imperative we maintain this progress, sustain the utilization of information and continue to address evolving components that will allow us to be in a position of stability for future leadership.”

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


Humans of Greenville


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


December 13, 2018

East Carolina’s Justice Gee dropped in a 3-pointer at the final buzzer and flexed her muscles at midcourt as not only her teammates rushed to her in celebration, but also more than 6,000 local school children in the Minges Coliseum stands shouted and cheered and danced and joined in the fun.…


December 13, 2018

East Carolina’s women’s basketball team will be looking to continue an unbeaten run in Education Day games when it hosts Liberty today at 11:30 a.m. in Minges Coliseum.

The contest will bring thousands of school children into Minges for the annual late-morning tip-off. ECU is 5-0 all-…


December 12, 2018

Dave Hart wants unity and success for East Carolina athletics as much as anyone, which is part of the reason why he is continuing in his role as special athletics adviser for ECU for another year.

Hart has been in the role since March 15, helping with a critical transition as the Pirates parted…


December 11, 2018

East Carolina basketball forward Jayden Gardner completed the final academic exam of his freshman fall semester on Tuesday, and now he can turn most of his attention to basketball, but that means more practices than games for him and the Pirates.

ECU (6-4) is near the middle of its oddest…


December 11, 2018

Two East Carolina football recruits are experiencing the unique blend of high school football glory and college football recruiting to the fullest extent this week, including the multi-talented Traveon Freshwater from Elizabeth City.

Freshwater and his teammates at Northeastern High will play in…


December 09, 2018

Jon Gilbert’s experience in athletics ranges from being an administrator at big-time Southeastern Conference schools Alabama and Tennessee to holding his first athletics director position last year at Southern Miss, a school that in many ways is similar to East Carolina and used to be a rival…


December 07, 2018

Pitt County East Carolina football recruits Jeremy Lewis of South Central and CJ Johnson of D.H. Conley doubled down on their commitments following the arrival of new head coach Mike Houston this week.

Attempts to reach Farmville Central’s Keziah Everett for comment were unsuccessful.



December 07, 2018

First-year East Carolina head football coach Mike Houston announced the addition of 10 members to his initial Pirates’ staff on Friday.

All have assumed their duties immediately.

Among the additions are eight coaches who were on Houston's staff at James Madison, five on the offensive side of…


December 07, 2018

The difference in total yards — 614 to 362 in favor of James Madison — tells a lot of the story of JMU’s 34-14 win over East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to begin the 2017 season for both teams.

Coach Mike Houston, who posted a 37-6 record at JMU in three seasons before…


December 06, 2018

East Carolina University has designated $20 million in university money to settle a deficit in its athletics budget and to make significant capital improvements to athletics facilities, officials said Wednesday.

The funds are available immediately, with one $10 million transfer intended to nullify…

310 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 31
        Next Page»   Last Page»