East Carolina University’s football team is 3-2 on the year after defeating Old Dominion by a score of 24-21 in Norfolk, Virginia last Saturday. For the first time in a number of years, ECU has a winning football program, one that has matched its win total from last season just five games into this campaign.
We, the editorial staff of The East Carolinian, are thrilled to see the success head coach Mike Houston is having in his first season helming the Pirates and look forward to watching the team inch closer and closer to bowl eligibility in 2019.
Since an 8-5 season back in 2014, the Pirates have been below .500, finishing 3-9 in each of the last three years. With an ineffective coaching staff prior to this season and, at times, a drop-off in recruiting, the football program is a shell of its former postseason-bound self.
Sensing frustration on campus and around Greenville administration shook things up this past winter, bringing in a new athletic director in Jon Gilbert and head football coach in Houston. As a very successful coach at the FCS level, Houston represents the perfect man for the job to turn things around in Pirate Nation.
A force both on the sidelines and on the recruiting trail, Houston has already secured verbal commitments from some potentially impactful highschool players. Simultaneously, Houston has worked tirelessly to instill a culture of hard work, determination and physicality back into a program that has been sorely lacking in that department for some time now.
There’s still a long way to go to return Pirate football back to its former glory, but a 3-2 start to Houston’s first season on the job is a very positive sign. For that, Pirate Nation owes Houston a thank you for beginning the process of rebuilding a storied program.