BYH, Trump. Did you think it would be that easy? That you could just be installed by Putin and his oligarchs, live a...

Big week begins for Montgomery, Pirates


East Carolina football coach Scottie Montgomery looks on from the home sideline at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Nov. 17.


The Daily Reflector

Monday, November 26, 2018

There is no shortage of big-picture storylines for East Carolina athletics this week, culminating with the ECU football team’s trip to Raleigh on Saturday to face 24-point favorite and rival N.C. State.

Will the Pirates have a new athletics director named by the noon kickoff at Carter-Finley Stadium? Will Scottie Montgomery, who enters with a 9-26 career record with the Pirates, remain ECU’s coach beyond Saturday?

“It really doesn't matter what my confidence level (in my job security) is, because the biggest deal is the way that we come out and prepare this week,” Montgomery said Monday during his weekly news conference. “My confidence level never grows or falls. I am still the same guy that I was when I came and took this job, and we are going to work our butt off and our job is to do one thing and that is to make sure we put a better product on the field.

“At the same time, we have to make sure that the things off the field get corrected, and we still have a ways to go there.”

Chancellor Cecil Staton has publicly said that the goal is for the Pirates’ AD search to be completed by the end of football season, and he also has said that Montgomery and the football program will be evaluated at season’s end.

ECU announced Monday that its Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday to hear personnel updates and legal matters and take any related action in closed session. A university official would not comment on what specifically might be discussed, though indications point to the meeting being related to athletics.

Montgomery was asked Monday if a win over N.C. State (8-3) to give the Pirates a 4-8 record would be enough for him to keep his job.

“There is not a point where I’ve said I have done enough,” he said. “I came here to win championships and we haven’t been able to do that for a lot of reasons, and I am one of the reasons. That is the first level of it is accountability.

“But I do think as you look into the whole of it, there are some things that all of us can do better and we will do better to make sure that we have a better chance of not only winning this weekend, but in the future.”

Montgomery guaranteed immediately after a second straight 3-9 season in 2017 that his Pirate team would make a bowl game, but ECU has faltered again, and a 56-6 loss at Cincinnati last Friday gave East Carolina a 3-8 record. The Pirates finished 1-7 in American Athletic Conference play.

“This is a regular season game and we haven’t earned the right to say this is a bowl game,” Montgomery said of facing the Wolfpack. “You have to earn the right to say this is a bowl week. We don’t dangle carrots out in front of people or do anything like that.”

The Wolfpack, which holds a 16-13 all-time edge against ECU but has lost the last three meetings, is closing the regular season with consecutive rivalry matchups.

NCSU beat North Carolina, 34-28, in overtime in Chapel Hill on Saturday, and a postgame brawl led to the Atlantic Coast Conference announcing Monday that Wolfpack starting offensive linemen Tyler Jones and Justin Witt and backup safety Freddie Phillips are suspended for one half versus ECU. Coach Dave Doeren can decide which half to sit the suspended players.

Montgomery said freshman receiver Tyler Snead is slated to play, which would exceed the four-game redshirt limit for him and make him a sophomore for next season. Montgomery also confirmed that redshirt freshman third-string quarterback Kingsley Ifedi is not part of the team’s active roster.

“He is not in the mix anymore in the quarterback room,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know the answer to (if he is transferring).”

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 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…


December 06, 2018

Coach Mike Houston didn’t leave James Madison for East Carolina because of Holton Ahlers, but he is aware of the Pirates’ talented quarterback.

Ahlers, a left-hander standing 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, was one of the top freshman QBs in the country this year even during a third straight 3-…


December 05, 2018

Donnie Kirkpatrick is returning to East Carolina’s football program to be the first offensive coordinator for Mike Houston as head coach of the Pirates.

ECU has not made Kirkpatrick’s appointment official, but sources have confirmed that Kirkpatrick is expected to be named offensive…


December 05, 2018

Dave Hart didn’t even know how to finish his sentence.

He has been in athletics administration since the early 1980s and seen just about everything, except for what happened with him and East Carolina finalizing an athletics director search and football coaching search at the same time.…


December 04, 2018

In Mike Houston’s estimation, the key to rebuilding the football team at East Carolina is redefining the team’s identity.

The new face of ECU football laid out his blueprint for the Pirates in a news conference on Tuesday, the same plans he said he had already detailed to the…

313 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 32
        Next Page»   Last Page»