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No action taken at BOT meeting

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East Carolina University Board of Trustees members begin Wednesday's special meeting at the Spilman Building.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

East Carolina University was not ready Wednesday afternoon to name a new athletics director or announce anything regarding football coach Scottie Montgomery’s job status.

The ECU Board of Trustees held a special two-hour, closed-session meeting Wednesday at the Spilman Building to hear updates regarding personnel and legal matters. Many people believed the meeting would be about the athletics program, and some media reports even suggested the hiring of Southern Miss athletics director Jon Gilbert was imminent, but no action was taken as the Pirates’ search for an AD is not yet completed.

“I will say that the search continues in earnest and I do not believe it will be long before we have a resolution,” trustees chairman Kieran Shanahan said via telephone before the board went into closed session. “Today will not be a day to have any action in regard to the AD spot.”

ECU has been without an AD since Jeff Compher’s ouster in March, and questions about the job security for Montgomery have hit an all-time high in the buildup to Saturday’s season-finale at N.C. State to complete his third season.

Gilbert likely remains as a candidate in the search led by special athletics adviser Dave Hart, who along with Chancellor Cecil Staton also participated in Wednesday’s meeting remotely. Gilbert and Hart worked together at Tennessee and Alabama.

Former ECU administrators who have been in media reports as possible candidates include Jimmy Bass (UNC Wilmington/athletics director) and Charles Bloom (South Carolina/executive associate AD). Rick Hart, the son of Dave Hart, is the AD at SMU.

Board members declined interview requests after Wednesday’s meeting, citing that they cannot speak about what happens during closed session.

Staton said on Nov. 2 after a meeting of the East Carolina AD search committee that the goal is for an athletics director to be named by the end of football season.

“There’s no way to absolutely predict a time frame, but we believe we can do this relatively quickly, and I would say certainly a goal would be to have this completed before the end of football season,” he said.

Hart’s contract as special athletics adviser ends Dec. 15.

Montgomery has a 9-26 record with the Pirates, including a 3-8 mark this year. Many fans want Saturday to be his final game leading the team.

“I don’t get into opinions, and my opinion is that I am going to go work as hard as I can this week to make sure we have an opportunity to beat the N.C. State Wolfpack,” Montgomery said Monday during his weekly news conference that featured a slew of questions about his future.

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

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